On 2 and 3 October 2019, high school students of «Gymnasium named after S.V. Kovalevskaya» from the city of Velikiye Luki (Pskov region) visited JINR. Excursions to the Museum of the History of Science and Technology of JINR, as well as to the Laboratory of Nuclear Problems and the Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions were organised.

Introduction to the Institute started with the JINR Museum where the guests were told about major scientific projects implemented in JINR. In the Museum experimental hall, the students were able to perform simple but interesting physical experiments on their own and also could see a spectacular demonstration of the Tesla coil.

Dmitry Ivanov, grade 11 student

I really liked the JINR Museum. We were told about the Institute’s history, as well as about many outstanding people who made a huge contribution to the development of JINR. The Museum’s exhibits and videos made it possible to build a fairly complete and clear picture of all JINR labs’ research and achievements. A special place in the Museum is occupied by “interactive” demonstrations. It was not only informative but also very interesting.

M. Sorokovikov, an engineer of the Laboratory of Nuclear Problems, told the students about the experiment located in Lake Baikal where the Gigaton Volume Detector is installed; he also gave a tour around the assembly hall of optical modules with the help of which in the nearest future scientists will be able to “catch” traces of neutrinos coming to us from the depths of the universe. The schoolchildren got acquainted with photos taken in 2018 during the winter Baikal expedition of JINR specialists.

Artamonova Anfisa, grade 9 student

Here at JINR, I have heard about the existence of neutrinos, their features and the difficulties of their registration for the first time. JINR staff members not only told but also showed to us how the theory is implemented in practice, for example, when assembling optical modules of a neutrino telescope.

Acquaintance with the neutrino topic continued in the Green Lab where N. Anfimov showed the “Dark Room” – the hall where photomultipliers are tested. L. Kolupanova introduced to visitors operation of the control room of the NoVA experiment. The guests were offered to carry out the laboratory work on the assembly of a particle detector – a Wilson chamber and saw a demonstration of the milling-drilling machine for prototyping microcircuits.

Petrov Alexander, grade 11 student

We visited a real research centre and were able to look at scientists’ work, talk to them about difficult things in simple words. They showed us some modern equipment, explained the principles of its operation, and also demonstrated its capabilities. In the “Dark Room”, we conducted very interesting physical experiments, for example, observed the tracks of alpha particles and saw the levitation of a superconductor in a magnetic field. We were told about the operation of photomultipliers used in the registration of elementary particles.

Shkroba Daria, grade 10 student

A visit to the Nova experiment control room is one of the parts of the tour that I particularly liked! Isn’t it great that one can “observe” the behaviour of particles in real-time mode, control and manage the experiment from afar!

At the end of the two-day visit, the students had a tour around the Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions. R. Rymzhanov told them about the history of the discovery of new elements of the Mendeleev Periodic Table, explained the operational principles of the synchrocyclotron using the layout of the DC-280 for illustration, talked about applied research conducted in the Laboratory, presented the IC-100 accelerator to the students.

Petruseva Svetlana Valentinovna, chemistry teacher at the gymnasium

The Joint Institute for Nuclear Research is a large multifaceted international scientific centre in which fundamental theoretical and experimental research has been successfully integrated. As a chemistry teacher, I was most interested in the Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions and the Superheavy Element Factory. We learned how transuranic elements are produced and saw a cyclotron model. We were shown how to obtain track membranes, a high-tech product that is used not only for hemodialysis but potentially has a widespread use.

Tikhonova Alevtina, grade 10

The IC-100 accelerator astonished us from the first seconds. A laboratory employee told us about the principles of the accelerator’s work, answered our questions. His story made us appreciate the daily contribution of the JINR staff to the development of science.

Warm sunny weather allowed guests to stroll around the Institute and enjoy the academic atmosphere of the city. The guys were able to see the monuments to outstanding scientists: D.I. Mendeleev, N.N. Bogoliubov, M.G. Meshcheryakov, G.N. Flerov and others.

Grigoryev Mikhail, Grade 9

I really liked Dubna, a cozy city with bright yellow houses. The beautiful embankment named after D.I. Mendeleev and the apple orchard were just amazing. Surprisingly, just walking along the streets of the city, we were motivated to start this interesting future work, participate in the team development of scientific ideas, to continue our self-development.

Pugacheva Natalya Petrovna, physics teacher

In July 2019, I participated in the Summer Scientific School for Physics Teachers on the JINR basis. School teachers really need to be fueled with new modern knowledge from primary sources. I was surprised by the amount of the JINR activities and the results obtained, I was listening with pleasure to the lectures of competent people who were passionate about scientific research. For the Teacher’s Day, I received a wonderful gift – the opportunity to visit JINR with my students. Everyone loved it! They were surprised at the scale, learned a lot of new things, wanted to do something useful for their country. The only regret was that they did not visit all the laboratories, did not manage to see Yu. Ts. Oganessian and NICA. Which I am also sorry about.

We wish the staff of JINR and the UC to have personal and professional success and remarkable events. Meeting you is a significant event for us.