Sukhumi Institute of Physics and Technology named after Ilia Vekua
Brief information about the institute
Sukhumi Institute of Physics and Technology (SFT) was created in 1950 by the merger of two classified scientific research centers. The activities of these two centers in 1945-49 were related to the technologies of creation of the atomic bomb by the former USSR. The heads of these centers were world-famous German scientists Professor Manfred von Ardenne and Nobel Prize laureate Professor Gustav Hertz. World famous scientists worked with them: M. Steinbeck, P. Thiessen, H. Barvikh, M. Follmer, V. Schutze, N. Riley, R. Doepel and others.
The scope of the institute’s activities included both nuclear and thermonuclear weapons creation technologies, as well as scientific research in plasma, solid-state physics, unconventional energy, physical electronics and other fields.
As a result of many years of successful work, the following main directions were identified in the activity of the institute:
- Physics of plasma
1.1. Quasi-stationary processes
In connection with the creation of thermonuclear weapons in the 50s of the last century, an intensive study of toroidal plasma began at SFT. The research task was the interaction of magnetized plasma and high-frequency electromagnetic field. On the basis of a large volume of experimental research, scientifically substantiated conclusions were made:
– heating and stabilization of the plasma zone at the expense of introducing additional energy into the magnetized plasma by means of a high-frequency electromagnetic field;
– the collective nature of the interaction of protons and heavy ions in magnetized plasma was established;
– In 1961, the acceleration of heavy ions by the flow of electrons was carried out in a plasma diode.
1.2. Impulse processes
In this direction, work at the institute began with the study of electrical conductor explosions. During the study of theta- and zeta-pinches in gas plasma, still on low-power devices, it was established for the first time that ordered spatial-periodic structures are formed in the plasma, and discrete acceleration of plasmons was observed in the zeta-pinch. This event was confirmed by the American scientist G. McMillan, and it was later called the Kvartzhava-McMillan electro-dynamic acceleration effect. As a result of fundamental deductions and subsequently on the facilities of the institute, a dense n= (2÷4)10 16 cm -3 high-temperature plasma
was obtained (T E = 350000 K, T i=1.6.106 K), whose lifetime was (10÷100) msec.
1.3. On the basis of the open clamp
combined pinch device, an open aerodynamic clamp GGDLKP-2M was created in SFT, the parameters of which are: energy – 10 mJ, length of pinch – 50 cm and ratio of reflection coefficients of magnetic mirrors – ≤100, magnetic induction – 15 Tesla. The research program is designed to create a powerful neutron generator and to study the problems of radiation resistance of materials.
1.4. Plasma focus on
the KPF-1 and KPF-3 plasma focusing devices created at SFT, interesting results were obtained:
– at 100 kJ energy in the energy collector, the output of neutrons in the deuteron-deuteron (DD) plasma amounted to N ~ 10 11 per n-discharge;
– the energy dependence of neutron output N ~ E 2 ~ J 4 has a scaling character;
– When lithium vapor is mixed in DD plasma, the output of neutrons increases 5÷6 times;
– The received (20÷150) GeV hard x-ray radiation dose in the impulse is ~ 10 12 x-rays per second and its duration ~It reaches 50 msec.
In 1991-1992, a new device KPF-4 was created, the energy of which reached 0.2÷1.5 MJ.
- Physics and technology of high-current electron and ion injectors and accelerators
The first high-current injector was created by M. Von Arden and M. By Steinbeck back in 1945-1949, when the electromagnetic method of separating uranium isotopes was being developed, these works of the professors laid the foundation for the physics and technology of accelerators.
On the basis of powerful electronic injectors, direct-acting and resonant high-current electronic accelerators were created.
- Solid state physics
The works in this direction were multifaceted and the properties of metals, semiconductors and dielectrics were studied. The main results of the research are:
– growth of germanium and silicon monocrystals, which was implemented by SFT for the first time in the USSR;
– The discovery of the phenomenon of instantaneous crystallization of the entire volume of the molten metal mass, which has only been replicated directly in experiments conducted in space under the code name “melting”.
In 1962, together with “Kurchatov” and other institutes, the world’s first thermoelectric reactor-transformer “Romashka” (0.5 kW) was created.
In the institute, the thermoelectric equipment manufacturing has developed mainly in two directions:
a) development and serial production of a large-capacity nuclear thermoelectric generator for space use.
b) creation of thermoelectric generators (TEG) working on radioisotope fuel for use in civil and military spheres.
A high-temperature cesium plasma thermoemission generator was developed, which became the main node of the space thermoemission reactor-converter.
Two types of power-generating channels were processed: single-element and multi-element. Accordingly, the powerful thermoemission nuclear power plants “Topaz” and “Enisei” for space purposes were created.
In view of the extensive program of works, works are being carried out in SFTI to create physical instruments, measuring, control, analytical and control radio-electronic equipment both for its own needs and for supplying to customers.
In addition to mass-spectrometer, beta-spectrometer, Auger-spectroscope and microscope, diagnostic equipment for measuring parameters of hot plasma was developed in the institute. An electronic control system for space reactors was made, which is still functioning today. At the Topaz booth in Albuquerque.
- Reception and processing of semiconductor Si Ge poly and monocrystalline joint samples; investigation of their properties to create an optoelectronic device;
- development of nanoscale structures necessary for creating a photodetector;
- Examination of the electro-physical and structurally sensitive mechanical properties of the created materials will be carried out with modern equipment;
- Development of the necessary technology for obtaining silicon-germanium (Si/Ge/Si) heterostructures based on the infrared range photodetector and making experimental samples (together with the Institute of Micro and Nanoelectronics);
- Development and manufacture of various low-temperature thermoelectric mini-refrigerators and mini-generators.
Current and implemented projects
Ilya Vekua Institute of Physics and Technology of Sukhumi actively cooperates with many scientific organizations, such as International Science and Technology Center (ISTC), Science and Technology Center of Ukraine (STCU). Both of these organizations were created by mutual agreement of America, European Union and Japan to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and technologies in the world.
The Institute’s projects are also financed by grants from the Georgian Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation of Georgia.
The official website of the institute
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