( 30.I.1904 - 14.²²².1985 )
Komar Anton Panteleymonovich
The first head of the High-Energy Physics Laboratory at PNPI.
On November 5, 1963, the USSR Academy of sciences confirmed A.P.Komar’s appointment as head of the High-Energy Physics Laboratory at the branch institute of the Leningrad Physical-Technical Institute (LPTI). All the life of Anton Panteleymonovich was connected with the development of physics in our country. He was one of the founders of the nuclear research centre at Gatchina where since 1963 he headed one of the largest laboratories – the High-Energy Physics Laboratory (HEPL; now it is ( HEPD * ). The first program of the scientific research at the PNPI synchrocyclotron was formulated under his leadership. Due to painful illness, he retired from the HEPL administration in 1976. However, he continued to take part in the scientific activity of PNPI as senior researcher.
This year (2004) would be his centenary. Anton Panteleymonovich Komar was born in a peasant family on January 30, 1904, in the village Beresna of the Kiev region. In the age from 8 to 13, he went to a country school. Then, from 1917 he attended the gymnasia at the town Belaya Tserkov’. From the age of 16, he started out in life of his own. He was a workman, a watchman, and a laboratory assistant in the physics laboratory of the technical secondary school in Belaya Tserkov’. He became a highly qualified specialist in precise optical instruments and devices.
In 1924, he entered the mechanical faculty of the Kiev Polytechnical Institute. After he graduated from the institute, he continued his post-graduate studies first at the Physics Institute in Kiev, and then at the LPTI.
In 1933, he was appointed as head of the Phase Transition Department at the Urals Physical-Technical Institute. In 1935, the degree of Doctor was conferred upon him without defending the thesis. In 1943, he became professor.
In 1948, he was elected as member of the Ukraine Academy of Sciences, and he was appointed as deputy director of the P.N.Lebedev Institute of Physics. In 1950-1957, he was director of the A.F.Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute. From 1957 to 1963, he was head of the X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Laboratory. From 1963, he worked at PNPI (in Gatchina).
As is seen from A.P.Komar’s biography, Anton Panteleymonovich devoted much efforts to the administrative work. He was a deputy institute director, institute director, head of a laboratory. However, he also devoted much efforts to the scientific research. He published more than 140 papers in the fields of the physics of solids and the physics of atomic nuclei.
His first research works were devoted to the physics of metals. In Leningrad, and later in the Urals, he carried out a series of investigations of the structure of metal alloys, and of the phase transitions in pure metals and alloys. In 1946, in Sverdlovsk, A.P.Komar with his colleagues, for the first time in our country, started up a betatron into operation. In the end of the 40_th, A.P.Komar and V.I.Veksler worked under the construction of electron accelerators. That work was awarded with the State prize. The X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Laboratory, founded by A.P.Komar, became in our country one of the leading research centres for investigation of photonuclear reactions. And of course, A.P.Komar’s name is connected forever with the beginning of the scientific activity at the Gatchina synchrocyclotron.
Anton Panteleymonovich spent much time for administrative and research work, nonetheless he managed to share time to be a lecturer in physics at the universities. More than 20 candidate and doctor theses were defended by his pupils under his supervision. It could also be mentioned that, in addition to the Russian and Ukraine languages, A.P.Komar knew fairly well English, and he could read German and French.
The biography of Anton Panteleymonovich Komar is a striking example of how a simple peasant boy
grew into an outstanding scientist.
* The HEPD history, along with the whole PNPI history, started within the precincts of the Leningrad Physical-Technical Institute (LPTI) long before the official birthday of PNPI. In the middle of 50s, there were two small laboratories at LPTI whose activities were directed towards the experimental research with particle accelerators. Those were the Cyclotron laboratory headed by D.G.AIkhazov and the Roentgen and gamma rays laboratory headed by A.P.Komar. The experimental basis of the laboratories was modest - a small cyclotron for acceleration of heavy ions with the energy up to 3 MeV per nucleon and a 100 MeV electron synchrotron. Around these facilities, there was a group of young physicists eager to work on the problems of nuclear and high energy physics arising at that time. This small community was actively replenished with new members, mostly graduates from the Nuclear Physics Faculty of the Leningrad Polytechnic Institute, also headed by A.P.Komar. Both the leaders and the students were unexperienced in investigations in the nuclear physics field, had poor technical equipment, and, in addition, were isolated from the world community. To some extent, this was compensated by enthusiasm and youth of the community. On the other hand, the conditions turned out to be favourable for development of self-dependency and inventiveness of the young physicists and engineers since it was necessary to invent practically everything - from physical apparatus to power supplies, amplifiers, amplitude analyzers etc. And not only to invent, but to produce everything themselves. At that time, the important collaboration with electronics engineers began. The electronics group led by S.N.Nikolaev was created in the laboratory of A.P.Komar.
The next stage was the decision to organize at Gatchina a branch-institute of the LPTI, specially oriented on nuclear physics, and the decision to construct there a proton synchrocyclotron (SC) with the record for this type of accelerators energy of 1000 MeV. The SC project was worked out at the Efremov institute with participation of D.G.AIkhazov, D.M.Kaminker, N.K.Abrossimov, and other LPTI engineers. The SC construction started in 1959. At the end of 1967 the trial start of the accelerator took place, and full the exploitation began from April of 1970.
In order to organize the research work at the SC, the High Energy Physics Laboratory was created in 1963 on the basis of the Roentgen and gamma rays laboratory (the first 15 members of this laboratory were officially transferred to HEPL on July 10, 1963). A.P.Komar has become the first leader of HEPL, he directed the laboratory until 1971. The following groups were formed at HEPL: the group of Mesons and mesoatoms (the group leader S.P.Kruglov), the group of Nuclear structure (A.A.Vorobyov), the group of Spectroscopy of deep spallation nuclei (E.Ye.Berlovich), the group of Meso-nuclear reactions (M.V.Stabnikov), and the group of Direct nuclear interactions (B.A.Bochagov). From that time, the preparations for the experiments at the synchrocyclotron began.