First Enrollment at HSE Faculty of Physics
This year the first enrollment was held at HSE Faculty of Physics: since September 26 bachelor’s and 14 master’s students will start their studies at the faculty. They received student ID cards as well as promises to study in creative atmosphere with assistance.
The faculty is based on the system developed by Lev Landau and Pyotr Kapitsam who stated that future scholars need to do experiments themselves to see the way the laws of physics were created and to understand the process of law discovering. Alexander Kuntsevich, Senior Research Fellow at the Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, spoke about the importance of experimental research to future students:
‘Laboratory workshops in first institutes of physics and technology were different, previously students not only participated in an experiment, but they also assembled devices, it was really interesting. And now we are actually back to basics. That’s how we should teach the students. We believe that physicists are unique, and teaching methods should not be widespread’.
Mikhail Trunin, Dean of the Faculty, confirmed this notion: the ability to not only calculate, but also competently carry out experiments is important for understanding any field of physics. That’s the only way a student can become a true researcher who is able to think on his/her own and make decisions.
Students won’t need to assemble devices, but they will be able to upgrade the available equipment at their discretion. Laboratory workshops will give students an opportunity to choose the direction of the experiment. The lecture programme will be up-to-date, reflecting recent trends in physics, showing that it’s a dynamic and rapidly developing science. The teachers expect that this approach with a small number of people will help to educate students interested in continuing their studies. Moreover, the lecturers will pay special attention to the first enrollment at the faculty.
Six joint departments with academic institutions will work at the faculty: the Russian Space Research Institute, Kapitza Insitute for Physical Problems, Institute for Spectroscopy RAS, Institute of Solid State Physics, Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, and Prokhorov General Physics Institute. After a course of general physics bachelors will choose the track they wish to specialize in. Master’s students will be engaged in research led by the scholars from September 1.
An international group of researchers (the first author is Nikita Kalinin, HSE Saint-Petersburg, the last author is Ernesto Lupercio, CINVESTAV, Mexico) has presented the first continuous model describing self-organised criticality. The proposed solution is simpler and more universal than the classical sandpile model: it integrates areas as remote from one another as economics, developmental biology and gravity in the context of tropical geometry. The paper was published in PNAS.
Researchers from the Higher School of Economics and Space Research Institute (Russia) have calculated the main parameters that determine space weather close to the nearest Earth-like exoplanet, Proxima Centauri b. Such parameters include solar wind, as well as galactic and solar cosmic rays. The results of the research were published in Astronomy Letters.
Scientists from the Higher School of Economics and the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics of Russian Academy of Sciences have investigated how vortex flows penetrate the interior of a liquid. The authors of the article have shown that specific (thin liquid and insoluble) films on the surface of water enhance eddy currents. These currents are produced by the interacting surface waves directed at an angle to each other.
The big scanning antenna at the Pushchino Radio Astronomy Observatory logs almost 90 GB of data every day. The data are usually processed by the astronomers manually. Vladimir Samodurov and Alexander Gorbunov, researchers at the HSE Faculty of Business and Management, decided to relieve the scholars from this hard work and give this job to neural networks. They shared the results of their work in the paper ‘Perspectives of intellectual processing of large volumes of astronomical data using neural networks’.
Together with his colleagues, Igor Kukushkin, Chief Research Fellow at the Institute of Solid State Physics (Russian Academy of Sciences) and Professor at the Faculty of Physics at the Higher School of Economics, has founded two scientific-commercial enterprises. Their products are used in a range of areas, including pharmaceuticals and medicine, as well as to control the quality of various materials and even in the fight against terrorism. Igor Kukushkin spoke to the HSE news service about how to combine science and business.
Researchers from the Higher School of Economics and the University of Leipzig have created a model which enables the timely and effective prediction of polymer behavior in mixed solvents. This is the first scientific work to explain, using statistical mechanics, the effect of suppression of co-nonsolvency at high pressures. The findings have been published in the journal Soft Matter.
From November 20th – 24th, 2017, the National Theoretical Mechanics Competition took place at the Kazan State Power Engineering University, attracting 120 students from 35 Russian universities.
The American Physical Society (APS) has recognised HSE MIEM Professor Lev Shchur for his innovative use of computer simulations and the development of superior random number generators for their use in statistical physics. Professor Shchur is the only academic working in Russia to be selected as APS Fellow in 2017.
The Higher School of Economics is welcoming its first class of students to the Faculty of Physics. The new faculty is unique in that it fosters a close relationship between education and science. At the Space Research Institute, for instance, future master’s students will create devices to study space plasma, analyse data from satellites, and learn to determine space weather.
Alexei Starobinsky, Professor in Faculty of Physics, Elected Foreign Associate at U.S. National Academy of Sciences
Alexei Starobinsky, Professor in the HSE Faculty of Physics, has been elected Foreign Associate at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Previously, he has served as an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences of Germany (Leopoldina), the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, and two Indian academies – the Indian National Science Academy (New Delhi) and the National Academy of Sciences (Allahabad).