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Groups of Armenian physicists from the Yerevan Physics Institute (YerPhI) (currently the A.I.Alikhanyan National Science Laboratory (Yerevan Physics Institute) Foundation) have also participated in the work over possible Higgs boson discovery, Director of the Foundation, Professor Ashot Chilingaryan,
corresponding fellow of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences, head of the group of the Armenian scientists in the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment Albert Sirunyan, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, participant in the ATLAS experiment (A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS) Hrachya Hakobyan say in their interview with ArmInfo.
Chilingaryan says that the Higgs boson discovery, which was announced on 4 July 2012, was the key goal of the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) of the Conseil Europeen pour la Recherche Nucleaire (CERN) in Switzerland. He points out that the groups of YerPhI scientists have been participating in the creation of the LHC detectors since the early 1990s. It was the CMS and ATLAS experiments, in which the Armenian physicists participated, that gave
the experimental confirmation of the new particle believed to be the long-sought Higgs boson. Chilingaryan says that alongside with the experienced physicists, who have been taking part in the experiments for 20 years, young scientists are also co-authors of the Higgs boson discovery and many other interesting results. "Though the lists of the co- authors contain dozens of thousands of surnames, each Armenian scientist and young specialist, who took part in the experiments, made his own contribution to the generation of the results. This is proved by the young scientists' theses on the basis
of LHC materials, which are annually defended at YerPhI", he says.
He says that two years ago the Government of Armenia started allocating funds for the groups of Armenian scientists to participate in the experiments and not to depend on the grants provided by foreign or international organizations. "The general success of the work over the search of the Higgs boson has proved that the funds allocated by the Government of Armenia were not wasted", Chilingaryan says.
Albert Sirunyan says that according to the agreement signed with the Government of Armenia, since 1994 the Armenian physicists and engineers have had the opportunity to participate in the scientific experiments conducted on the CERN accelerators. Since 1995 the Armenian scientists started taking part in the creation of equipment for the LHC. He points out that the time when the Armenian physicists started creating equipment for the detectors coincided with the hard times for Armenia, when the electric power was released for several hours a day, and trifling sums were spent on the science. However, the Armenian physicists managed to find different ways of financing, particularly, grants, and to take part in creation of these powerful detectors, with each of them costing up to 500 mln CHF.
Hrachya Hakobyan says that since 1993 Armenia has been participating in the LHC project as an author of technical equipment, components, and detectors. "Actually, not a single country of the region takes such part in the LHC, and among the CIS countries only Russia, Ukraine and Belarus take part in the project. As a result, the Armenian physicists participated in all the phases of creation and establishment of the LHC, including tool engineering, experimental works, study of the parameters of detectors and equipment before their final assembling, checkout and launch", he says. The scientist adds that the Armenian physicists control all this equipment, keeping the relevant watch. In addition, they remotely (from Yerevan) watch the quality of dimensions for data processing, using grid computing.
As regards the benefit Armenia gained from its participation in the LHC creation operations and the Higgs boson discovery experiments, Albert Sirunyan singles out two aspects. First and foremost, this is an exclusive opportunity for training of young specialists at CERN, and the state support program contributed to this. He stresses that Armenia has strong traditions in high-energy physics: there was an electron accelerator at YerPhI, the Armenian physicists have always been in the foreground in the sphere of studying the electromagnetic interaction of high energies. Today these traditions continue despite the fact that there is no opportunity now to use the outdated accelerator of YerPhI. On the other hand, the technological
capacities of foreign high-energy physics centers are widely applied, including those of not only CERN, but also the Jefferson Lab in the USA, the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron in Germany. Sirunyan says that thanks to the participation in these centers' projects, YerPhI's image remains high and the possibilities for development of high-energy physics in Armenia are maintained.
He also stresses that the participation in the LHC construction allowed bringing new technologies to Armenia. For instance, a new technology of production of special ceramic bases for the LHC detectors was applied at Mars Plant. A tender was announced for production of these bases with participation of companies from several countries, and Mars won the tender. As a result, 5 thsd ceramic bases were produced at this plant and delivered to CERN for making detectors at the LHC.
The head of the Armenian team of scientists in the CMS experiment says that in 2013 YerPhI is going to organize a scientific conference in Armenia (supposedly in Nor Amberd international conference center, on the slopes of Mount Aragats). The conference will cover the new results of the CERN experiments on the Higgs boson discovery.