On 11-13 March, 14 students and 3 teachers from the Science Education Center “HEMDA” (Tel Aviv, Israel) visited JINR. The main goal of the visit was introduction to the main fields of scientific research conducted at the Institute and participation in a series of lab works on the basics of experimental nuclear physics developed by the JINR staff members.

This is the second visit of Israeli students to JINR. The first one took place in April 2018. The lab work prepared for the visitors last year turned out to be a great success with the participants, so this year the Israeli teachers brought a new group of students to Dubna.

The Science Education Center “HEMDA” is an analogue of our Physics&Maths lyceums, where a lot of attention is paid to research work. The students of the Center are well-trained in Physics and Mathematics, which allowed them to carry out the research work mainly intended for university students practice.

The acquaintance with the Institute took place within the walls of the Visit Centre, where the Director of JINR UC Prof. S. Pakulyak greeted the guests and delivered an introductory lecture on the history, main research fields, and training programmes of JINR. The first day was spent in the JINR UC laboratory and devoted to a specifically developed programme. The high-school students started their work with signal generators, oscilloscopes, coincidence circuits, scintillation counters, and finished the day with assembling a simple scintillation telescope that allowed them to register cosmic radiation particles. Moreover, the guests were offered a hands-on with a semiconductor alpha spectrometer. This activity was supervised by Dr. V. Malaza (South Africa) and A. Strekalovsky (FLNR).

The second day of the visit of the Israeli group began in the Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions with a lecture by A. Karpov. During the lecture he told the students about the discovery of chemical elements, introduced the children to the latest achievements made by FLNR scientists in the field of fundamental and applied research, and shared the plans that the Laboratory staff are going to implement by means of the new accelerator DC-280 of the Superheavy Elements Factory. The visit was continued with a tour of the accelerator IC-100, which was conducted by A. Voinov. During this excursion, the guests learned about the operation principles of the setup and the applications of track membranes and nanostructures obtained using the accelerators.

In addition, the guests visited the “Dark Room” – a DLNP laboratory for testing photomultipliers for neutrino experiments and the control room of the NOvA experiment. N. Anfimov told the visitors how scientists detect elusive particles and observe the operation of the experimental setup located at the other end of the globe.

The FLNR experimental programme for the guests was developed under the guidance of Prof. Yu. Penionzhkevich. The leading specialists of FLNR S. Lukyanov and Yu. Sobolev, together with their younger colleagues K. Mendibaev, T. Isataev, and S. Stukalov supervised the hands-on dedicated to measuring gamma radiation spectra and introduction to Moseley’s law on measuring the nuclear charge. In addition, they introduced the students to the real physics experiment aimed at studying the properties of exotic nuclei.

The third day of the visit of the Israeli group was held at the Laboratory of High Energy Physics, involving the leading staff of the Laboratory A. Butenko, S. Kostromin, Yu. Murin, V. Yurevich, S. Sedykh, V. Golovatyuk, and I. Tyapkin. The guests visited the Magnet Factory, the Synchrophasotron, the Nuclotron, and the laboratory producing track detectors. The highlight of the day was work at the test benches, which are intended for building the MPD detector for the NICA collider. Under the guidance of young staff members V. Babkin, M. Rumyantsev, A. Dmitriev, B. Dabrowska, V. Rogov, and N. Lashmanov, the students were able to perform a number of measurements.

N. Sidorov, D. Dementyev, and N. Anfimov gave bright multimedia lectures on colliders, physics facilities, and modern experiments.

The engineering and organisational work was carried out by G. Yarygin, G. Averichev, P. Semchukov, K. Klygina, and E. Karpova. The general coordination of the work was done by the Head of the JINR UC Department of Development of Educational Programmes Prof. Yu. Panebrattsev and Director of JINR UC Prof. S. Pakulyak.

The 3-day programme ended with the awarding of certificates and souvenirs to the guests. After the closing ceremony, the visitors gladly shared the impressions of their stay at JINR.

Elena Simon, Physics teacher at HEMDA: Here we got an opportunity to touch real experimental work, it was the thing that we liked most about JINR. The experience of the last year showed that the students were satisfied with the lectures and excursions, but most of all they were impressed by the hands-on activities. So this year we decided to concentrate on the practical part. This is the reason why we came back to JINR, and more likely will be coming back in the future. We were able to show our students what modern experimental research is like. I would like to note that our group has been paid a lot of attention, we are very pleased and truly appreciate it. For our part, we are trying to make our visit useful for the Institute, that is, we prepare and “tune” our students accordingly. It gives the possibility of testing the techniques that you develop, and, for our part, we are ready to give feedback. The guys are very reverent about the personality of G.N. Flerov. They took many photos next to his portrait, because the great-niece of the great scientist works in our Center. This cultural and historical connection of Dubna and Tel Aviv lives on, and our students always remember about it.

Farber Arzi Orr, student: We came here to see the “Big Physics” and high technologies with our own eyes. Much of what we saw here, we had studied in theory, and it was great to be able to touch it. Staying in Russia is unforgettable, not only because of the weather, but also because of the culture. We could feel what it is like to be part of JINR. We listened to lectures in English, and for several days we joined the international team and felt we were part of it. We enjoyed hands-on work very much – it turned out to be most valuable for me.

Emile Mosseri, student: We are doing an advanced course and we came here to see a real science center and do some experimental work. The brightest impression is the number of laboratories conducting large-scale research. It was cool to see large accelerators. Hands-on work was an invaluable experience, it was great. I observed experimental physicists at work. And the local weather – we are not used to it, but it is so cool!

Gigi Maor, student: I am doing the “Research Physics” course. The purpose of our visit was to see things on a larger scale. There are no accelerators in our school, and here all my dreams came true. I am happy that I saw real research facilities and even had an opportunity to do some work with my own hands. It was awesome! During the trip I learned a lot. I will recommend that my friends go to JINR.