|National research nuclear university
Department of Theoretical Nuclear Physics
The Department of Theoretical Nuclear Physics was created in 1946 and was one of the first six departments of the institute. The first head of the department was outstanding theoretical physicist I.E. Tamm, Academician and Nobel Prize winner. The first academics of the department were famous theoretical physicists Academicians M.A. Leontovich, I.Ya. Pomeranchuk, and E.L. Feinberg. Somewhat later, the staff of the department was supplemented by A.B. Migdal, Ya.A. Smorodinskii, and A.D. Galanin and, after several years, by V.G. Levich and A.S. Kompaneets. Academicians S.T. Belyaev, A.M. Budker, Yu.A. Trutnev, and V.D. Shafranov and Corresponding Members of the Russian Academy of Sciences Yu.P. Popov, V.P. Silin, and I.S. Shapiro worked at the department.
In 60 years, the department has trained a large number of skilled scientists including 13 Members of the Russian Academy of Sciences and more than 200 Doctors of Sciences. Outstanding theoretical physicists Academicians A.M. Baldin, Yu.M. Kagan, and L.B. Okun' and Corresponding Members of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR V.M. Galitskii and V.Ya. Fainberg were among the graduates fr om the department. It is difficult to find a physical institution throughout the world wh ere graduates from the department do not work.
At present, the department was headed by Professor N.B. Narozhny, famous theoretical physicist specialized in Quantum Field Theory and Relativistic Astrophysics, Doctor of Physics and Mathematics.
During the existence of the department, its members obtained a number of remarkable results in quantum mechanics and quantum field theory, high energy physics and nuclear physics, laser physics and quantum optics, solid state physics and theory of wave propagation in random media.
Members and graduates of the department have written a large number of textbooks and teaching aids including widely known «Collection of Problems in Classical Electrodynamics» by A.I. Alekseev, «Course of Theoretical Physics» by V.G. Levich, Yu.A. Vdovin, and V.A. Myamlin, «Macroscopic Electrodynamics» by V.M. Galitskii and V.M. Ermachenko, and «Introduction to the Electrodynamics of Condensed Matter» by M.I. Ryazanov et al. «Collection of Problems in Quantum Mechanics» by V.I. Kogan and V.M. Galitskii and «Problems in Quantum Mechanics» by V.M. Galitskii, B.M. Karnakov, and V.I. Kogan have long been classical and have been translated to many languages. Teaching aids written by the members of the department cover almost all the courses presented by the department at MEPhI and constitute an integral part of the educational process.
Results of research have been presented in a number of monographs such as «Theory of Collisions of Atomic Particles» by V.M. Galitskii, E.E. Nikitin, and B.M. Smirnov, «Fluctuations of Ranges of Charged Particles» by V.S. Remizovich, D.B. Rogozkin, and M.I. Ryazanov, «Quantum Field Theory and Topology» by A.S. Shvarts, «Theory of Finite Fermi Systems and Applications to Atomic Nuclei» by A.B. Migdal, and «Approximation Methods in Quantum Mechanics» by A.B. Migdal and V.P. Krainov.
At present, the members of the department actively work in various fields of physics such as nuclear physics and physics of elementary particles, quantum and nonlinear optics, solid state physics and interaction of radiation with matter, transport theory, quantum mechanics and quantum field theory, mathematical simulation of physical processes, and theory of wave propagation in random media. In such a collective, any student can find a field interesting for him.
In the last five years, the members of the department have published about 300 articles in leading Russian and international scientific journals including such prestigious journals as Physical Review, Physical Review Letters, Physics Letters, and Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics (students were coauthors of some of these articles).
The department is involved in the organization of various scientific actions. In particular, the International School for Young Physicists devoted to modern problems of physics was organized in 2006 by the department together with the University of Maryland (College Park, USA). Some members of the department are involved in the organization of the Annual International Conference on Laser Physics.
Received grants constitute an important indicator of the efficiency of activity of any scientific collective. In particular, in 2008–2009, the department received a grant from the Council of the President of the Russian Federation for Support of Leading Scientific Schools and grants from the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation. In recent years, the department also received several tens of grants from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, INTAS, the International Science and Technology Center, and other foundations. The received grants allow the department to financially support most talented and active students.
At present, students specialized in theoretical physics study the following general and special courses:
in the third academic year: quantum mechanics, field theory, numerical methods, statistical physics, theory of elasticity, modern geometry, group theory, hydro and gas dynamics;
in the fourth academic year: interaction of laser radiation with matter, theoretical solid state physics, macroscopic electrodynamics, quantum field theory, methods of statistical physics, physical kinetics, theory of superstrong fields, and theory of nuclei;
in the fifth academic year: nonlinear electrodynamics, mathematical models in modern astrophysics, simulation of mass- and heat-transfer processes, theory of elementary particles, general relativity, computational methods of gas dynamics, radiation physics of solid state, theory of imperfect crystals, topological methods in physics, theory of strongly correlated systems, wave propagation in random media, theoretical physics of surface, computer simulation in theoretical physics, and parallel computations with the use of MPI technologies.
An important element of the training of students specialized in theoretical physics is their early participation in research works. Beginning with the sixth academic term, students become members of scientific groups in which they conduct research and graduate works under the supervision of leading Russian physicists.
Students perform research works at the department and leading Russian research centers such as Lebedev Physical Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences; Prokhorov General Physics Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences; Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (Dubna); Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics; Russian Research Centre Kurchatov Institute; and Kapitza Institute for Physical Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences. Some students conduct research works in the branches of the department at the Russian Federal Nuclear Center VNIIEF (Sarov) and Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics, Russian Academy of Sciences.
The cooperation of the department with Russian Federal Nuclear Centers resulted in the creation of two new departments—«Problems of Experimental Physics» and «Physics of High Energy Densities»—at MEPhI for the target training of specialists for the Russian Federal Nuclear Center VNIIEF (Sarov) and Russian Federal Nuclear Center VNIITF (Snezhinsk). The organization of the joint postgraduate school of MEPhI and the University of Maryland is among new promising projects.