Level of education: Master programme

Type of instruction: Full-time

Duration: 2 years

Language of instruction: English

 

Full description

The programme provides knowledge of the main provisions of the modern physical picture of the universe. It includes the theory and practice of condensed matter physics, which uses the strength of neutron and X-ray radiation. In recent years, the picture has been enriched by elements of nano-, bio-, info- and cognitive technologies.  Advances in neutron and synchrotron physics have made it possible to form an interdisciplinary approach to the modern science.

The programme is aimed at teaching specialists in condensed matter physics. Their qualifications enable them to solve research and engineering problems in various fields of modern physics, chemistry, biology, and materials science.  Thanks to the development of new types of neutron and synchrotron sources, the possibilities of diffraction methods, spectroscopy, small-angle scattering, and reflectometry have recently expanded significantly in a wide range of spatial scales and energies.

Graduates of the programme will be in demand in: MEGA-class research centres – neutron and synchrotron research centres in Russia and worldwide; information technology; nano- and biotechnology.Graduates of the programme will be able to have successful careers in physics as: physicist-researchers and physicist-engineers; and teachers of higher education institutions. They will also be able to design and develop high technologies in government and business entities.

Programme Mission

This Master’s programme targets graduates who completed Bachelor’s or Specialist’s programmes in the areas of study related to physics, chemistry and biology.

The programme is focused on training highly qualified specialists and experts in the field of condensed matter physics. It is on the basis of the Department of Nuclear Physics Research Methods, possessing the ‘Master’ level competencies in accordance with the educational standards of St Petersburg University.

Graduates of the programme will be in demand in such industries as: a complex of MEGA-class research facilities – neutron and synchrotron research centres in Russia and worldwide; information technology; nano- and biotechnology; heavy and light industries; and instrument-making industry.

They will be able to have successful careers as physicist-researchers and physicist-engineers and teachers of higher education institutions. They will also be able to design and develop high technologies in government and business entities.

 

Key Skills

Graduates of the programme will be capable of planning, conducting and analysing experiments in the field of condensed matter physics using methods of neutron and synchrotron radiation scattering. They will also be able to independently model and optimise experimental neutron scattering facilities.

Students acquire fundamental knowledge in the field of condensed matter physics:

  • Fundamentals of the theory of interaction of neutron and synchrotron radiation with matter;

  • Current issues in physics of nano- and biosystems;

  • Symmetry, structure and properties of solids;

  • Structure and properties of biological macromolecules;

  • Physics of magnetism and superconductivity.

 

Benefits of the programme 

Practice-oriented approach: the curriculum provides several types of practical training (practice in synchrotron and neutron physics, practice in condensed matter physics, pre-graduation practice to name just a few) with a total credit of 40 ECTS. Practical classes are held in laboratories and resource centres of the St Petersburg University Research Park, and MEGA-science facilities: B.P. Konstantinov Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute of the National Research Center ‘Kurchatov Institute’ (Gatchina, St Petersburg); the National Research Center ‘Kurchatov Institute’; Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (Dubna).

Research component: research projects and scientific seminars of master’s students make up 23 ECTS. Research supervisors of master’s students are the world's top scientists in the field of neutron and synchrotron physics.

 

Entering Research and Professional Community

Our students have an opportunity to take part in a number of annual conferences:

First week of February: A conference on neutron diffraction and synchrotron radiation 

Second week of March: A school of Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute on condensed state physics

Third week of June: A workshop on inelastic neutron scattering ‘Spectrina’

Third week of September: A conference on small-angle scattering (SAS) ‘MURomets’

Third week of December: A school on polarised neutron physics

Research grants from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, the Russian Science Foundation, visits to research centres abroad: the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) – Grenoble, France; and the Forschungs-Neutronenquelle Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM-II) – Munich and Petra-III (the Positron-Electron Tandem Ring Accelerator) – Hamburg, Germany.

The programme organisers have close contacts with such organisations as:

  • State Corporation Rosatom (www.rusatom-overseas.com)
  • B.P. Konstantinov Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute of the National Research Center ‘Kurchatov Institute’
  • The National Research Center ‘Kurchatov Institute’
  • Joint Institute for Nuclear Research

During training, students have an opportunity to do internships in these and other leading Russian high-tech companies.

 

Key Features of the Programme

The programme is unique in that it provides an extensive education, which is achieved through a set of courses in different areas of study, including interdisciplinary ones.

The training is conducted according to individual educational trajectories by selecting elective courses and including online courses in the academic programme.

Students can specialise in one of the following areas:

  • Diffraction of Neutrons and Synchrotron Radiation
  • Small-Angle Scattering and Reflectometry of Neutrons and Synchrotron Radiation
  • Neutron and Synchrotron Radiation Spectroscopy

Training and research activities of the department take place at three sites:

  • St Petersburg University (lectures and classroom studies);
  • P. Konstantinov Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute (lectures, practical training, laboratory practicums and research projects in neutron physics);
  • the National Research Center ‘Kurchatov Institute’ (practical training, laboratory practicums and research projects in the physics of synchrotron radiation).

Classes at the National Research Center ‘Kurchatov Institute’ (Moscow) are organised in a two-week cycle in July each year. In October, classes are also held at a pulsed reactor in the town of Dubna (2 weeks). Travel and accommodation expenditures are covered by St Petersburg University.

Main Courses

  • Role of Social Sciences and Humanities in Contemporary Natural Sciences;

  • Fundamentals of Cognitive Sciences;

  • History and Methodology of Physics: Key Experiments in Physics of the 20th to 21st Centuries;

  • Layered Structures, Polymers and Colloids: Small-Angle Scattering and Reflectometry of Neutrons and Synchrotron Radiation;

  • Nanosystems and Physical Fundamentals of Nanotechnology;

  • Structure and Properties of Macromolecules, Liquid Crystals, Colloids and Biological Molecules;

  • Scientific Seminar ‘Role of Social Sciences and Humanities in Contemporary Natural Science’;

  • Complementarity of Computational Methods of Quantum Chemistry and Neutron and Optical Spectroscopy of Biologically Active Materials Simulation of Neutron Instruments and Neutron Scattering Processes

 

Teaching Staff

  • Mikhail Kovalchuk, Doctor of Physics and Mathematics, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Tatiana Chernigovskaya, Doctor of Philology, Doctor of Biology, Professor 

  • Vladimir Voronin, Doctor of Physics and Mathematics, Deputy Director at Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute of the National Research Center ‘Kurchatov Institute’

  • Sergey Grigoriev, Doctor of Physics and Mathematics, Deputy Director at Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute of the National Research Center ‘Kurchatov Institute’.

 

Career

The programme trains experts who will be in demand in the world's top neutron and synchrotron centres:

  • B.P. Konstantinov Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute of the National Research Center ‘Kurchatov Institute’ (Gatchina);

  • The National Research Center ‘Kurchatov Institute’;

  • Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (Dubna);

  • The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF, Grenoble, France);

  • The Forschungs-Neutronenquelle Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (MLZ, Grenoble, France);

  • The Paul Scherrer Institutethe Institut (PSI, Villigen, Switzerland);

  • The Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL, Grenoble, France);

  • The Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron Research Centre (DESY, Hamburg, Germany); and others.

 

Prospects for a future career in research and business

Students have an opportunity to be involved in the implementation of projects supported by grants from Russian and international scientific foundations: the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, the Russian Science Foundation, the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to name just a few. Students are also fully engaged in schools and conferences organised by the National Research Center ‘Kurchatov Institute’ and B.P. Konstantinov Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute:  Winter School on Condensed Matter Physics; a conference on small-angle scattering (SAS) ‘MURomets’; a workshop on inelastic neutron scattering ‘Spectrina’; a school on polarised neutron physics, and others.

 

Additional Opportunities

Accommodation for non-resident students (non-residents of St Petersburg) is provided on the St Petersburg University campus in Peterhof. To commute for classes at Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute, there is a bus twice a day from the halls of residence in Peterhof. Classes at the National Research Center ‘Kurchatov Institute’ (Moscow) are organised in two two-week cycles (October and July).

In addition to the scholarship, senior students will be paid the salary of a research laboratory assistant at Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute. They will also be provided with food coupons on the days when they visit the Institute.

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) has been chosen as a priority partner. The choice is primarily conditioned by the fact that the partner has a training practice base appropriate for the programme’s area of study: the Research Neutron Source Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (MLZ) with the research reactor FRM II.

Application Process

You can find all the relevant information on the SPbU website or contact the Admissions Office directly by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone +7 (812) 363-66-33.

 

Tuition Fees

Information about the tuition fees for SPbU study programmes can be found here.