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On 10 January 2021, the article was published on “Meduza”.

The current year 2021 can easily become the year of neutrinos in physics—simultaneously, several neutrino experiments of great importance are about to start their operation and publish results.

The main thing you have to know about neutrinos is that their studies directly refer to New Physics which is sought for beyond the Standard Model long ago verified (and already boring).

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On Saturday, 12 December 2020, a special ceremony of the shutdown of the facility of the Daya Bay international neutrino experiment will take place. Scientists will proceed with final data analysis.

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On 17 December 2020, a unique X-ray microtomograph MARS upgraded at the Dzhelepov Laboratory of Nuclear Problems, JINR, was delivered to the Nanobiotechnology Lab at the Phystech School of Biological and Medical Physics (PSBMP), Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), in Dolgoprudny for carrying out biological and medical research. This could be a beginning of a new significant research collaboration resting upon a common instrumental basis. “This partnership is beneficial for all, which is often the case in the scientific community,” comments Denis Kuz’min, PSBMP Director. 

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The main goal of the international JUNO experiment, in which DLNP scientists and engineers are actively involved, is to determine the neutrino mass hierarchy. This is currently one of the crucial problems in neutrino physics. The preparation for the JUNO experiment is in its final stage.

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The GERmanium Detector Array (GERDA) experiment at the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS) of INFN, Italy, has reported its final results on the search for the neutrinoless double-beta (0νββ) decay of 76Ge in the recent issue of Physical Review Letters. Moreover, our paper has been selected to be a PRL Editors' Suggestion. No signal has been observed, but all goals of the final phase of the experiment have been achieved.

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At DLNP, the adjustment and commissioning work is well under way at LINAC-200, the first stage of the electron linear accelerator LINAC-800. The accelerator is intended for carrying out methodological investigations of detectors developed at JINR, solving applied problems with the use of electron beams, and implementing educational programmes of the JINR University Centre. The accelerator will produce electron beams with energies of 10 MeV to 200 MeV in a wide intensity range.

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The most significant achievements of Russian science in 2020 were listed on RIA Novosti’s website. The selected top of this publishing house includes the experimental proof of the CNO cycle in the Sun, the finding of the Borexino collaboration and DLNP researchers involved.

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One of the most important objectives pursued in low-background experiments on the search for rare events is the study and continuous monitoring of neutron fluxes in the vicinity of the detection setup. The problem is that neutron fluxes in low-background experiments are thousands of times lower than on the ground. The gold standard for neutron flux measurement is the 3He-based counter due to a large cross section for thermal neutron capture (5333 b) and extremely low sensitivity of these counters to the gamma background. Unfortunately, there are no commercial 3He sources: its content in natural helium is only 0.000137%. All the available amount of 3He is produced at nuclear reactors, and its cost is more than $2000 per litre.

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One of the highlights in the Physics World calendar is the announcement of their Breakthrough of the Year. Today ten finalists for 2020 have been revealed, from which the Breakthrough of the Year will be picked on Thursday 17 December.

This year’s Top 10 Breakthroughs were selected by a crack team of five Physics World editors, who have sifted through hundreds of research updates published on the website this year. In addition to having been reported in Physics World in 2020, the selections must meet the following criteria:

• Significant advance in knowledge or understanding.
• Importance of the work for scientific progress and/or development of real-world applications.
• Of general interest to Physics World readers.

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On 15 September 2020, at the closing ceremony of the Russian-German Year of Scientific and Educational Partnerships in 2018-2020, the winners of the Open Russian-German Competition "Russia and Germany: Scientific and Educational Bridges" received their awards. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany summed up the results of the Year and named the winning projects during a live broadcast. The project "The TAIGA Observatory - Russia and Germany open a new window to the Universe" was recognized as the winner of the Competition in the category "Advanced Research" for successful long-term scientific cooperation.