26 May 2011, 16:00

Russia to modernize proton accelerator

Russia to modernize proton accelerator

Russia will modernize its unique proton accelerator in Protvino in the suburbs of Moscow, which was suspended in the 90s. This will pave the way for speeding up the fundamental scientific research programme and making innovative products. The implementation of the megaproject known as the proton accelerator and accumulator, UNK, was suspended in 1998.

Russia will modernize its unique proton accelerator in Protvino in the suburbs of Moscow, which was suspended in the 90s. This will pave the way for speeding up the fundamental scientific research programme and making innovative products.

The implementation of the megaproject known as the proton accelerator and accumulator, UNK, was suspended in 1998. The particle collider is designed to carry out fundamental physics research at high energies and determine new properties of the structure of protons, neutrons and electrons. The 70 GeV, particle accelerator, which is functioning now, was developed in a short period of time, says the deputy director of the Nuclear Research Institute, Leonid Bezrukov.

“The accelerator was the largest in the world at the time when it was launched in 1967 and since then, the most advanced experiments have been conducted in elementary particle physics. It was the largest and consequently, it had the brightest luminance and the highest energy. The Institute for High Energy Physics was founded after the launch of the accelerator. When it established international cooperation, foreign scientists arrived in Protvino with their equipment and conducted joint research. In short, for some time, this was the largest centre for elementary particle physics. Later, other countries started building larger colliders and in these circumstances, the modernization of the U-70 particle accelerator became imminent,” Leonid Bezrukov said.

In view of this, a plan to develop an underground multi-kilometer circle was adopted where U-70 was to be the injector of the accelerator. In short, a proton beam will be injected after it was accelerated in the more powerful circle of the accelerator. This should pave the way for developing a collider similar to that at CERN in Switzerland. The length of the underground circle in Protvino is 21 kilometers. The circle tunnel was built completely and is preserved. There is an underground hall for conducting experiments. The formal owner of the accelerator is the Institute for High Energy Physics. According to experts, significant funds will be needed to modernize this complicated facility, and the institute will hardly be able to do this alone. However, the Kurchatov Institute National research Centre that embraces Russia’s several leading scientific institutes, including the IHEP is capable of handling the project. Scientists plan to use the tunnel to solve problems of high energy physics and cosmic rays and study the impact of collisions of protons with other particles and materials.

The revival of the Protvino particle accelerator is significant for the future of Russia and the world as a whole because it’s impossible to develop applied sciences without promoting fundamental sciences. In fact, many ideas that will become reality in the future are born during fundamental experiments. The implementation of such projects often leads to the development of new technologies.

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