by Leonid SHIRSHOV, research scientist, State Research Center "Institute of High Energy Physics"
Protvino-one of a chain of research centers, or what we call "science towns", around Moscow-has marked its 40th birthday. April 19,1960 was the day when they laid the first brick, so to speak, into the foundation of the Serpukhov proton accelerator of 76 GeV.
The building of the world's most powerful proton synchrotron, more than twice as powerful as all of its contemporaries in the United States and Europe, called for the concerted efforts of practically the whole of this country. The accelerator, designed by some of Russia's leading brains, incorporated magnets and other parts and components manufactured by plants in different parts of this country. The scientific backing to these efforts was provided by the Moscow Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics (ITEP) headed by Professor V. Vladimirsky, later a Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy.
The Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) was opened in Protvino in 1963 under the scientific direction of Academician Nikolai Bogolyubov. Its Managing Director was Professor A. Logunov (later Academician). The accelerator was placed inside an annular tunnel about 1.5 km long. Located in a pine forest around it were the institute buildings and apartment houses for the staff. The "science town", deriving its name from the local Protva river, now has a total population of 38.4 thousand. Out of the 20.2 thousand of its gainfully employed residents some 4 thousand are on the staff of the Institute of High Energy Physics and another 1,200 are working at various industrial units which are booming here now.
Located next to IHEP is the Progress Factory of what they call "non-standard equipment" and the ZEMO electrical engineering plant. These three main centers in our town used to be subordinated to the USSR Ministry of Atomic Power Engineering which was commonly known as SREDMASH (today it is MINATOM of t ... Read more