of Neutron Physics

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"To become a scientist, one must be sincerely and selflessly devoted to science and not be afraid of difficulties." I. M. Frank, Nobel laureate, founder of FLNP

The Frank Laboratory of Neutron Physics (FLNP) is one of the main scientific laboratories of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, an international research organization established by the Agreement of the Governments of the Member States on 26 March, 1956. I.M. Frank was elected the first Director of FLNP. 
The main research areas in the field of nuclear physics: investigations of violations of fundamental symmetries in neutron nuclear interactions, investigations of the fundamental properties of the neutron to test the parameters of the Standard Model and the search for "new physics", the physics of ultracold neutrons, the development and design of neutron and other ionizing radiation detectors, as well as applied methods in neutron nuclear physics. 

Research in the field of condensed matter physics is aimed at studying the structure, dynamics, structural and optical properties, surface morphology of condensed matter, obtaining new data on the microscopic properties of the systems under investigation (strongly correlated electron systems, low-dimensional systems, heterostructures, polymers, colloidal systems, biological objects, nanomaterials, rocks and minerals, and others), determination of internal stresses in bulk materials and products, experimental verification of theoretical predictions and models, discovery of new patterns.

Also, research is carried out in the field of spectrometer development complex, the main tasks of which include the development and equipping of the spectrometers under construction, as well as the modernization and reconstruction of the equipment of the operating spectrometers of the IBR-2 reactor aimed at improving their parameters, expanding experimental capabilities and ensuring regular operation. Scientific and methodological support for the development of systems of producing beams, neutron detectors, sample environment systems, cryostats and cryomagnetic systems, as well as electronics and software for data acquisition systems.

Currently, 5 basic facilities operate at FLNP:

  1. The basic facility of the laboratory is the IBR-2 pulsed fast neutron reactor that after modernization, retains its parameters at the world level and is the only facility of this class in the world.

The IBR-2 reactor is equipped with the complex of spectrometers for implementing a wide range of research in topical areas of nuclear physics and condensed matter physics. An extensive user programme has been deployed at the reactor spectrometers that allows all those interested (physicists, chemists, biologists, geologists, materials scientists and others) to obtain, on a competitive basis, time to use the spectrometers and highly qualified support from leading FLNP specialists.
The development program of the complex of spectrometers includes: ensuring their efficient operation, development of experimental methods, construction of new advanced facilities focused on promising research areas.

  1. Another basic facility for research carried out in the Sector of Raman Spectroscopy (Centre "Nanobiophotonics") is a multimodal optical platform - "CARS" microscope that allows spectroscopy and microscopy of various materials (solids, liquids, powders, biological samples and other materials) based on spontaneous and stimulated Raman scattering.

CARS spectroscopy and microscopy is a very efficient and promising analytical method and instrument widely used in various fields of natural and applied sciences (chemistry, physics, biomedicine, pharmaceuticals, materials science, geology and other sciences).

  1. Intense Resonance Neutron Source (IREN) - a new generation facility for addressing a wide range of issues in fundamental and applied nuclear physics. The IREN facility is designed for nuclear physics research using the time-of-flight method in the neutron energy range up to hundreds of keV, as well as for the research of photonuclear reactions.
  2. The TANGRA facility was designed to carry out measurements both in the field of fundamental nuclear physics and of applied research using tagged neutron beams (TNB). The main component of TNB is the registration of the characteristic gamma radiation of inelastic neutron scattering on the test sample in coincidence with alpha particles registered using a position-sensitive alpha detector fixed into the neutron generator chamber.
  3. Unique research of the elemental composition of solids is carried out at the EG-5 electrostatic accelerator, including deep profiling, investigations of nuclear reactions on fast neutrons and others. EG-5 also allows to simulate the radiation conditions of near space, the core of nuclear reactors. The lack of slow neutrons in the spectrum produced by the neutron facility allows to carry out irradiation without inducing radioactivity that is crucial when studying unique samples such as cultural heritage objects.

The development of several new facilities is also presented in the project, such as: DNS IV, SANSARA, BJN.