22 April 2014
NOVOSIBIRSK, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – Scientists from the Siberian Institute for Nuclear Physics (INP) have handed over a synchrotron worth $14 million to the US Brookhaven National Laboratory, despite recent sanctions against Russia, the deputy director of INP told RIA Novosti.
“The final phase involved a team of programmers resolving the final issues.
Some of the programming team could cross the US border, while others were denied visas,” Evgeny Levichev said.
Earlier this month, the US Department of Energy banned its scientists from traveling to Russia and blocked access for Russian scientists to its major physics research centers. The move was announced in a letter sent to scientists collaborating with Brookhaven, the recipient of the new synchrotron.
“Our colleagues acted very sensibly ... they said that everything could be solved remotely, and we took on the task," Levichev said. "Twelve days later the sanctions were lifted, and access for Russian scientist was restored."
“Over the past 20-25 years this is the largest accelerator – possibly the largest scientific installation – produced by a Russian organization or institution in such a turnkey manner, starting with the idea and following through to the launch,” Levichev explained, adding that the achievement was to some degree overshadowed by the US sanctions.
The deputy director noted that the accomplishment by a team of young
professionals of assembling the synchrotron in difficult conditions over a prolonged period indicates the Institute for Nuclear Physics has the resources necessary for a large accelerator project within Russia, but that will require public funding.
“Dozens of Nobel Prize-winning experiments in the last 20 years have been performed on synchrotron radiation sources. This is an area in high demand, and every developed country has one or more sources of synchrotron radiation. In Russia we have two. One of them is Siberia-2 at the Kurchatov Institute, and the second one is at INP,” Levichev added.
The Russian booster synchrotron is an important part of the United States’ National Synchrotron Light Source facility. Synchrotron radiation plays an important role in a wide range of tasks in research in physics, materials science, biology, medicine and chemistry.