3-day “hands-on” practicum on Nuclear Physics for school students from Israel
On 11 – 13 March 2019, 14 graduate students and 3 teachers from the Science Education Center “HEMDA” (Tel Aviv, Israel) visited JINR. The VLab team headed by professor Yu.A. Panebrattsev together with the JINR University Center has organized the extensive “hands-on” practicum on experimental nuclear physics. This is the second visit of Israeli students to JINR. The practicum prepared for the visitors last year turned out to be a great success among the participants, so this year the Israeli teachers brought a new group of students to Dubna.
During this visit our guests visited main JINR experimental facilities and JINR leading specialists presented bright multimedia lectures on colliders, physics facilities, and modern experiments. But most of time they had spent making their own experiments. The first day students started their work with signal generators, oscilloscopes, coincidence circuits, scintillation counters, and finished assembling a simple scintillation telescope that allowed them to register cosmic radiation particles. Moreover, the guests were offered to work with a semiconductor alpha spectrometer.
The second day the Israeli group under supervision of young scientists worked with gamma- and X-ray spectrometers, studied the Moseley’s Law and measured the nuclear charge. In addition, the students were involved in the real physical experiment aimed to study the properties of exotic nuclei.
The third day the Israeli group worked at the test benches, which are intended for building the MPD detector for the NICA collider.
The 3-day programme ended with awarding of certificates and souvenirs to the guests. After the closing ceremony, the guests gladly shared impressions of their visit to JINR.
Elena Simon, Physics teacher at HEMDA: “We had an opportunity to touch real experimental work here; it was the thing that we liked most about JINR. The experience of the last year showed that students were satisfied with lectures and excursions, but most of all they were impressed by hands-on activities. So this year we decided to concentrate on the practical part. This is the reason why we came back to JINR, and more likely we will come again in the future. We were able to show our students what modern experimental research is like. I would like to note that our group has been paid a lot of attention, we are very pleased and truly appreciate it. In our turn, we are trying to make our visit useful for the Institute, that is why we prepare and “tune” our students accordingly. It gives a possibility of testing the techniques that you develop, and, for our part, we are ready to give a feedback. The guys very appreciate the personality of G.N. Flerov. They took many photos next to his portrait because the great-niece of this outstanding scientist works in our Center. This cultural and historical connection of Dubna and Tel Aviv lives on, and our students always remember about it.”
Farber Arzi Orr, student: “We came here to see “Big Physics” and high technologies by our own. We had studied in theory the largest part of what we saw here, and it was great to be able to touch it. Staying in Russia is unforgettable not only because of the weather but also because of the culture. We could feel what it is like to be a part of JINR. We listened to lectures in English and joined the international team for several days thus feeling that we were a part of it. We enjoyed hands-on work very much: it turned out to be the most valuable part of the visit for me.”
Emile Mosseri, student: “We are doing an advanced course and we came here to see a real science center and do some experimental work. The brightest impression is the number of laboratories conducting large-scale research. It was cool to see large accelerators. Hands-on work was an invaluable experience; it was great. I observed experimental physicists at work. And the local weather: we are not used to it but it is so cool!”
Gigi Maor, student: “I am doing the “Research Physics” course. The purpose of our visit was to see things on a larger scale. There are no accelerators in our school, and here all my dreams came true. I am happy that I saw real research facilities and even had an opportunity to do some work by myself. It was fascinating! During the trip I learned a lot. I will recommend that my friends go to JINR.”