IPJ Annual Report 2006
Last year was a year of solid good work. The number of publications has grown again, as shown in the graph below. With 276 papers in 2006 produced by 134 scientists, we crossed the point of 2 papers per scientist. This might be easy to achieve in a small, exclusive institute, but in the case of a large national laboratory it requires maintaining a high level in all its departments. Our scientific achievement over the last few years was appreciated by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education awarding IPJ the first category among physics institutes.
This report briefly describes all scientific activities of IPJ in 2006. One of the most interesting results is the first observation of spectral lines in a pure tungsten plasma using a RPI-IBIS device at Świerk contrib. 5.8. Another important achievement is solving the puzzle of U4O9 crystal structure contrib. 1.11. Most work, however, concentrated on long term projects which are expected to bring important results in the future. The first to come will be the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Our Institute participates in three experiments: CMS, LHCb and ALICE. Almost 18 years designing, prototyping and constructing of the muon trigger for the CMS in collaboration with Warsaw University and Warsaw University of Technology began to pay off. A cosmic ray test of the full chain of the apparatus has proved that the device can work correctly and will soon be ready to trigger the first interesting events in the LHC. In 2006 we joined T2K - the world-largest neutrino experiment, to be built in Japan. Nuclear physics in the next decade will concentrate on a number of experiments to be built at the FAIR facility at GSI in Darmstadt. Another great international lab - DESY in Hamburg – plans an X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL). The Institute coordinates an XFEL-Polska consortium and will contribute to the construction of the XFEL accelerator. Research in plasma physics has the goal of building a thermonuclear reactor, ITER in Cadarache (France). One step on this way is the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator, under construction in Greifswald. Our Institute will contribute to the construction of the Neutral Beam Injection plasma heating system.
Structural funds of EU for Poland in 2007-2013 also offer an opportunity to build large infrastructures for science and its applications in our country. We actively participate in three large consortia:
- National Center for Hadron Therapy
- High Temperature Reactor in Poland
- Sieroszowice Underground Laboratory SUNlab
Our institute also leads several national scientific networks:
- Polish Astroparticle Physics Network
- Polish Neutrino Physics Network
New challenges require larger “critical mass” and close collaboration of several institutes. For this reason the Atomic Center CeAt has been created – a consortium of IPJ, Institute of Atomic Energy, Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology, Institute of Plasma Physics and Laser Microsynthesis, led by our Institute.
The plans mentioned above are often addressed to the next generation of physicists. Today, they are still in school and we perform many activities to attract them to physics and science in general. This effort has been appreciated by nominating us to the “Educator of the year” award.
Last year also marks a beginning of reforms in Polish science. In this context we are often asked if IPJ is a “pure science” or “applied science” institute. In my opinion such a division would be somewhat artificial. “There can be no applied science unless there is science to apply” . On the other hand, any “pure science” research will sooner or later pay off in everyday live. A good example is furnished by medical accelerators produced by our Department of Nuclear Equipment. Experience in scientific experiments made our Institute one of the five producers of such apparatus in the world. In 2006 we obtained a CE certificate for Coline accelerators for cancer therapy.
A dark shadow upon our successes in 2006 was the death of our Director, Professor Ziemowid Sujkowski. We lost a distinguished scientist, solicitous preceptor of students, our colleague and friend. He led the institute over a very difficult period. In spite of severe budget cuts and required personnel reduction, he managed to save the Institute without serious damage with a still growing scientific output measured e.g. in the number of publications. Now, it seems that science in Poland has new, bright perspectives. I am sure that we will catch the wind in our sails and we will be facing a wonderful time of exciting scientific adventures.
Dr hab.Grzegorz Wrochna