Artem Isahaki Alikhanian (24 June 1908 – 25 February 1978) was a Soviet Armenian physicist, one of the founders and first director of the Yerevan Physics Institute, a correspondent member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1946), academic of the Armenian Academy of Sciences. With Pyotr Kapitsa, Lev Landau, Igor Kurchatov, Abraham Alikhanovand others, he laid the foundations of nuclear physics in the Soviet Union. He is known as the "father of Armenian physics".
Artem Alikhanian was born in Elizavetpol, Russian Empire, to an Armenian family of a railway engineer and homemaker. They had four children: two sons (the elder, Abraham Alikhanov, became a well-known physicist) and two daughters. In 1912 the family moved to Aleksandropol. He worked as a waiter and a newspaper seller. Alikhanian did not attend school regularly; initially he was mostly schooled at home but later he received an external degree from Tiflis school № 100. In 1930, before he graduated from Leningrad State University, he became a staff-member at Leningrad Physico-Technical Institute working together with his elder brother Abraham Alikhanov. The work of their group was devoted to the investigation of pair production and of the resultant positron spectrum. For observation of positrons, Alikhanov, his student M. Kozodaev and Alikhanian used an original combination of a magnetic spectrometer and two contiguous Geiger-Müller counters making coincidence counts. This work became a starting point for the application of radio engineering to experimental nuclear physics in the Soviet Union. Before World War II, they carried out fundamental investigations of beta-decay, discovered the internal conversion of gamma rays and confirmed experimentally the energy conservation in positron annihilation. In 1934 their research group (B. Dzhelepov, Alikhanov and Alikhanian) was among the pioneers observing the phenomenon of radioactive decay. A method of determining the rest mass of the neutrino, using decay of the nuclei of Be7, was suggested by Alikhanov and Alikhanian in 1938. For their investigations both brothers (without being Communist party members) were awarded the USSR State Prize.
In 1942 they initiated a scientific mission on Mt. Aragats in order to search for the third (proton) component of cosmic rays. They found so called narrow showers in cosmic rays and established the first evidence of the existence in cosmic rays of the particles with masses between that of a muon and proton. During the siege of Leningrad Alikhanian and some his colleagues were excused from full-time defense work in order to work on the design of a synchrocyclotron - the accelerator which was eventually constructed in Dubna in 1955. In 1948 A. Alikhanov and A. Alikhanian again were awarded the USSR State Prize for the investigation of cosmic rays. After they founded a cosmic ray station on Aragats at an altitude of 3250 m, the two brothers participated in the foundation of the Armenian Academy of Sciences and established the Yerevan Physics Institute in 1943. A. Alikhanian became its Director for the next 30 years. In 1956 A. Alikhanian, A. Alikhanov and Viktor Hambartsumian initiated the creation of the Yerevan Synchrotron with 6 GeV energy of electrons.
In 1965 Harvard University invited Alikhanian to give the Loeb and Lee lectures in Physics. He became the first Loeb professor of Harvard University from Europe. Alikhanian was a Doctor of physical-mathematical sciences, Professor of Yerevan State University, head of the physical laboratory in the Lebedev Institute, founder and scientific supervisor of the Nuclear Physics chair in the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, founder of the high-altitude Aragats and Nor-Amberd research stations. In recognition of his scientific achievements and contribution he was awarded the "Honored Scientist of Armenian SSR" title in 1967.
For the work on wide-gap track spark chambers in 1970 A.Alikhanian together with the colleagues were awarded the Lenin Prize. Later he initiated work on x-ray transition radiation detectors.
Alikhanyan's works are dedicated to nuclear physics, cosmic rays and elementary particle physics, accelerator physics and technology. Among with his co-workers- Alikhanov, Lev Artsimovich and others, he:
discovered the production of electron-positron pairs by internal energy conversion (1934),
experimentally confirmed energy conservation in positron annihilation (1936),
conducted precision measurements on the data spectra of a large number of radioactive elements and discovered the dependence of spectral shape on the atomic number,
proposed the experimental method to prove the existence of neutrinos through nuclear recoil in electron capture in 7Be,
discovered streams of fast protons in the cosmic rays, the intense productions of protons by fast neutrons, the so-called narrow shower, and the first hints of particles with masses ranging between those of the muon and the proton,
contributed to the development of methods for the detection of high-energy particles, in particular the Alikhanian-Alikhanov mass spectrometer, wide-gap spark chambers, and X-ray transition radiation detectors.
In 1963 he introduced the idea of creating a spark chamber where the gap between plates was wide enough to be able to observe spark trails of up to 20 cm. This invention was considered one of the major milestones in the history of the Spark Chamber.
He led the construction of 6 GeV Armenian electron synchrotron (Yerevan). Alikhanian was also an experienced educator. From 1961 to 1975 he organized the world-renowned annual International Schools of High Energy Physics at Nor-Amberd, with participation of many academics and Nobel Prize laureates. According to Wolfgang K. H. Panofsky and R. Wilson, Alikhanian made "very important contributions to science, in particular, in the use of transition radiation as an important tool in particle detection and identification".
Alikhanian was also known as a kind and highly inventive personality, his "great erudition captivated everyone". He was in good relations with academicians Isaak Pomeranchuk, Arkady Migdal, Lev Artsimovich and Lev Landau, composer Dmitry Shostakovich (he was a colleague of the composer's wife, Nina Varzar, who died in Armenia, in 1954), writers Mikhail Zoschenko and Marietta Shaginyan, professor and dissident Yuri Orlov, sculptor Arto Tchakmaktchian, painters Martiros Sarian, Harutyun Kalents and Minas Avetisyan. Alikhanian organized visits of Arkady Raykin, Andrei Sakharov and Yelena Bonner to Armenia, hosted Joseph Brodsky at his house in Yerevan (as Yuri Orlov writes, there were rumours, that Alikhanian had a web of his own spies, who helped to protect him and his colleagues from the KGB). He actively supported international cooperation of scientists. Alikhanian resigned from his position at YerPhI in 1973 and left Yerevan, after conflicts with very high level Soviet statesmen.
"Hello, That's Me!" film is based on Alikhanian's biography. Mitchell A. Wilson while working on "Meeting at a Far Meridian" novel, visited Alikhanian in Armenia and lived there for several months.
The experimental physics division (EPD) at Yerevan Physics Institute (YerPhI) established in 1943 by Artem Alikhanian (one of the founders and first director of YerPhI) and recently named by Hamlet Vartapetian (Deputy Director of YerPhI in 1974-1993), traditionally is active in a range of experiments studying the fundamental constituents of matter by scattering of photons and electrons from proton and nuclear targets. Current research in high energy physics includes studies of p-p/A interactions using the LHC at CERN (ATLAS, CMS and ALICE experiments), studies of the structure of hadrons and electromagnetic interaction properties with high energy electrons and photons in close collaboration with researchers at Jefferson Lab (Halls A, B , C, D) and at DESY in Hamburg. EPD is involved in studies of very high energy gamma ray astrophysics in collaboration with researchers at HESS, CTA.
Research groups of EPD are active also in studies of fission and fragmentation of nuclei with real and virtual photon beams, low energy nuclear physics based on AANL's electron linear accelerator LUE-75 and proton beam of the Cyclone-18. Search of rare processes in underground laboratory of Avan salt mine is also carried out.
EPD groups are involved in methodic studies: plastic scintillators, substrates for nuclear targets, NaJ(Tl) detectors, neutron detectors, microstrip silicone detectors, RF phototube, low-pressure MWPC. Synthesis, research and application of new derivatives of chitosan are also studied.find more
Cosmic Ray Division physicists perform research in almost all areas of the Astroparticle physics. Amongst them are CR Origin and acceleration mechanisms, Solar-terrestrial connections; solar modulation of galactic CRs, Acceleration of protons on Sun, High Energy phenomena in Atmosphere, Thunderstorm Ground Enhancements (TGEs), Lightning physics, Monitoring of geophysical parameters, Scientific instrumentation, Multivariate data analysis.
Among the main achievements of recent years are the discovery of energetic protons (with energies greater than 20 GeV) accelerated in the vicinity of the Sun during Ground Level Enhancement (GLE) event N69; simultaneous fluxes of electrons, gamma rays and neutrons measured at mountain altitudes; proving the existence of the new high-energy phenomenon (TGEs) in the thunderstorm atmospheres; the “Cloud Extensive Showers - CESs”. Also, a notable achievement is the registration of long-lasting radiation from the thunderclouds (up to several hours).
Development of the Aragats Space Environmental Center (ASEC), Armenian Geophysics Network in Armenia and Artsakh and founding of the worldwide network of new particle detectors named SEVAN (Space Environment Viewing and Analysis Network) were the key fulfillments of the recent years. Nodes of the SEVAN network are now operating in Armenia, India, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovakia and Czech Republic. Besides these achievements introducing of new model of lightning initiation was a step forward for this field of researches.find more
CP&IT division is providing the activities in the following directions: The whole YerPhI related activities such as YerPhI Network support and developmentand ITC Services Support: Permanent (wired & wireless) routing and switching multiprotocol connectivity; Managed and guarantied bandwidth; Access to Armenian Scientific Research Computer Network & Armenian Grid; Domain Name Service (DNS); E-Mail services (SMTP, POP, IMAP), Webmail, Mailing Lists Basic Services; WWW(HTTP,HTTPS); Internet accessible Information and Database Systems; Secure Data Transmission (VPN, SSH, SFTP, SSL, S-tunnel); Remote Administration; Web Hosting; Server/Router installation and maintenance; Archive, Backup, Data Storage and data Preservation; Antivirus, Antispam, Antispyware support; Voice and Video Conferencing (Policom HDX 6000); SIP VoIP Telephone Service (Asterisk); WiFi And Eduroam (education roaming) world-wide Wifi roaming access service for international research and education community.; Video media server (Open Meetings); Document Server (Invenio CERN/IAEA)High-Performance Computing; Grid Clusters; Batch Clusters; Storage Servers; Users support; IT training for Yerphi Staff; Users Support & ConsultingThe important scientific sub-direction is the Physics Analysis based on experimental data obtained by different international collaborations (HERMES, OLYMPUS and soon Belle2)One more sub-direction of the CP&IT activities is related to the computational physics, namely to the random number generators development and statistical testing, as well to Monte Carlo method applications.find more
Isotopes Research and Production Department was created in 2010. The department activity is devoted mainly to creation and development of production of radioactive isotopes for medical purposes.
During the first years 99mTc and 123I photo-production technology development and trial production on LUE 50 linear electron accelerator of ANSL (Yerphi) had been done. Since 2013 99mTc full chain production technology development using enriched 100Mo target on IBA C18 cyclotron was started, including target preparation, target cooling system, extraction of 99mTc from irradiated material and expensive 100Mo target material recovery. Also researches of other medical isotopes (67Ga, 68Ga, 67Cu and 64Cu) production on IBA C18 cyclotron are started.
Applied physics group has the self-supporting activities, on a fully commercial basis, including modification of plastic insulation tubes on the high-intensity beam linear accelerator (up to 4 MeV) for the cable industry.X-Ray instrumentation group activity concentrated on the development of a 3D image X-ray digital registration system, including development of thin film scintillators YAG:Ce and GGG:Ce, development of large area image detectors with spatial resolution 50 mkm and development of X-ray digital imaging systems, also for investigation of radiation hardness of scintillyator depends on heavy metal concentration.
Center for Cosmology and Astrophysics is traditionally concentrated on nonlinear problems of cosmology, including advanced numerical methods for description of evolution of perturbed Hamiltonian systems, stability of gravitating systems, N-body chaos, non-random structures and universal compression in signals. Studies involve cosmic microwave background radiation, conformal cyclic cosmology, time arrow, modified gravity and dark sector. Applications include coding and mutations in genomic sequences (US patent received).
Recent activities include participation in LARES (LAser RElativity Satellite, Italian Space Agency) satellite project on high precision testing of General Relativity, initiation and successful probing of Lorentz invariance at European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (Grenoble); results become reference numbers for theory. Reports are at Solvay conference on physics, IAU General Assembly, Swiss Biennial on Science, Technics and Aesthetics, Clay Mathematics Institute, Oxford and other noted forums. Most of ongoing studies are performed in collaboration with noted centers.