Moscow-Regional Filial of M.V.Lomonosov Moscow State University

Center for Scientific Research

[Picture of Chernogolovka, 69 kB]

Information in Russian.


Welcome to Chernogolovka!

Chernogolovka, a small, cozy, picturesque town located 50 kilometers (30 miles) northwest of Moscow, is the site of one of the most well-known centers of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

At the initiative of the Nobel laureate N.N. Semenov, a branch of the Institute of Chemical Physics was founded in 1956 near the village of Chernogolovka. This served as the embryo for a new scientific center of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Thanks to the outstanding achievements of the scientists working here, over the past 40 years the Scientific Center in Chernogolovka has become an internationally recognized center for the fundamental sciences. Enormous contributions to the formation of the scientific center were made by remarkable scientific scholars, organizers, and members of the Russian Academy of Sciences: N.N. Semenov, F.I. Dubovitsky, G.V. Kurdjumov, Yu.A. Ossipyan, D.S. Korzhinsky, I.M. Khalatnikov, and others. They also organized scientific groups and educational departments around the institutes they headed in Chernogolovka. They trained many who now figure among the most prominent researchers in areas of physics, chemistry, and mathematics, performing work that is widely recognized internationally.

Now Chernogolovka is a well-designed town with a population of over 22 thousand. The town and scientific center grew especially rapidly during the 1970s and 1980s. Chernogolovka is a young town. This is reflected in the average age of its population - about 30. The academic institutions of the scientific center employ most of Chernogolovka's working population, including more than 1000 Candidates of Science (a degree equivalent to a Ph.D.), 250 Doctors of Science, and more than 20 Members of the Russian Academy of Sciences. In the scientific center, there are currently nine research institutes, two specialized laboratories, and a factory constructing non-standard scientific equipment, all of which belong to the Academy of Sciences. A beautiful natural setting, well-planned growth, and highly developed social infrastructure and utilities system provide exceptional opportunities for fruitful scientific and technological activities in Chernogolovka.

The academic administration of the scientific center (the Presidium of the Scientific Center) and organs of the local government (the Chernogolovka Territorial Administration) support and develop the town's social infrastructure and utilities and make decisions regarding municipal construction and other strategic issues.

Chernogolovka - A Center for Scientific Research

The scientific center in Chernogolovka extends over an area of about 23 square kilometers. The residential area occupies slightly more than 1 sq. km. of this area. The institutes are located in the forest to the north and east of the residential area. A 20 - 25 minute stroll along shady walking paths through a pine forest brings you to the laboratory and technological buildings.

The scientific center of the Academy of Sciences began to develop in the mid-fifties, unifying various institutes. The idea of locating several mutually complementary scientific research institutions together outside of a big city stemmed from the very character of development of modern science, which is complex and requires the unified efforts of teams of scientists, engineers, and technicians with different specializations. The scientific center in Chernogolovka was not originally planned as a unified whole. Appearing in 1956 as a suburban experimental branch of the Moscow Institute of Chemical Physics, the scientific center was joined by other institutes. Now it is a complex of scientific establishments of the Russian Academy of Sciences; these are mainly physical and physicochemical institutes with a well-equipped experimental base.

The main fundamental problems the institutes deal with are investigating the structure and transformation of substances in various physicochemical conditions, establishing ties between the structure and properties of substances, and creating the scientific basis of new technological processes, materials, and artificial low-dimensional structures for new technologies. Investigations in modern fields of solid state physics, chemistry and chemical physics, theoretical and mathematical physics, mathematics, and biology are conducted in Chernogolovka.

A Pleasant and Attractive Town

The scientific center was developed according to a unified plan without significant destruction of its natural setting. The town is literally built among forested tracts surrounding and intersecting Chernogolovka. Although the residential zone is fairly compact, its architecture is varied, reflecting the dominant trends in Russian urban development over the last 40 years: from one- and two-story houses to 14- to 17-story apartment buildings. The residents of Chernogolovka live in modern, well-designed apartments and houses; in the summer, many relax on their garden plots 5 - 20 kilometers (3 - 12 miles) from the village.

In Chernogolovka, all the necessities for life's normal activities have been anticipated. Roomy movie/concert halls and sports facilities provide rich possibilities for recreation and exercise. On a hot summer day, it is pleasant to stroll down forest paths and trails, relax at the northern or southern man- made lake, sunbathe, or swim. In winter, skiers are served by a lighted ski trail and a man-made mountain for descents.

The economic transformation taking place in this country has led to an expansion in trade and services. The fresh air market and sales booths of the "commercial wave" successfully compete with stores that were recently part of the government system. There are private clothing stores, hair salons, and cafes, in addition to the earlier existing government establishments for household services and food.

Our Children

Almost a quarter of Chernogolovka's residents are children. There are dozens of educational, sports, cultural/recreational, and preschool organizations for their development, education, and recreation.

Various approaches are used in their scholastic education. The majority of children go to three schools that are joined into one Pupil's educational center under the direction of the Russian Academy of Education. In the lycee which is part of this center, students from the upper grades are chosen on a competitive basis for more in-depth study of math and physics or humanities. Some of the 5- to 10-year-old children study in the municipal cultural- educational complex and other new educational institutions with nontraditional methods of teaching. Children eagerly attend fine arts school, where they are acquainted with music, painting, and vocal arts.

Sports occupy an important place in our children's lives. Children from the sports school and sports club hold their classes in the rooms and pools of the sports complex, on the skiing trails and tennis courts, and in the summer and winter stadiums. Among our children, the most popular sports are rhythmic gymnastics, biathlon, swimming, and team sports. The Chernogolovka school of ballroom dancing is well known. People from throughout Russia and even other countries come to Chernogolovka to participate in the traditional competitions "Podmoskovnie Vechera" (Suburban Moscow Evenings) and "Snezhnyi Bal" (the Snow Ball).

Our children's summer recreation is a special concern of our academic and municipal organizations. Summer vacation is a time of various children's camps, nature trips, and excursions. Chernogolovka was one of the first to revive the Scouts in Russia. Also popular in Chernogolovka are family outings.

Recreation, Sports, and Culture

There are surprisingly varied possibilities for recreation in Chernogolovka. In the forests surrounding the town, there are many berries and mushrooms. The forest paths are suitable for running and, in the winter, for ski outings. At the lakes to the north and south, you can not only sunbathe and swim on a hot summer day but also go fishing or wind-surfing. The Sherna, which flows near Chernogolovka and is one of the prettiest creeks in the Moscow area, is a favorite spot for short canoeing trips.

There are also wonderful conditions in Chernogolovka for sports lovers. Near the southern lake on warm summer days, the playing grounds of the sports area are always well populated. On these soccer fields and tennis, volleyball, and basketball courts gather both experienced and beginning players. In the winter, most of the sports clubs use the halls and pools of the sports complex. Here train swimming, badminton, basketball, volleyball, wrestling, and gymnastics groups, as well as various individual and other types of sports. Among the workers of the scientific center, mountain sports enjoy special popularity: alpinism, cliff climbing, and alpine skiing. The mountain enthusiasts do their pre-season training on specially constructed climbing facilities built in the sports complex and on a man-made sand mountain near the southern lake.

The cultural life in Chernogolovka is rich and varied. Famous people in literature and the arts and interesting young performers are frequent guests at the Scientists' House in the scientific center. In the halls of the Scientists' House and the House of Culture one can find masterful performances by instrumental and vocal ensembles or see exhibitions of paintings. The residents of Chernogolovka are not devoid of talent, which they realize through poetry associations, theater and art studios, clubs for self-composed songs, and folklore and instrumental ensembles.

International Ties and Business

Our scientists have a long history of international scientific contacts; multilateral ties between Chernogolovka's residents and citizens of other countries have been developing rapidly since the beginning of the nineties. At the initiative of Josef Schneider, the mayor of the Bavarian city Neubiberg, Chernogolovka and Neubiberg officially became sister cities in 1991. Every year, dozens of Chernogolovkans go to Bavaria and residents of Neubiberg come to Chernogolovka as part of children's, sports, professional, and other exchanges. At the initiative of the sister communities, construction of the "Bavarian House," a center for business and cultural cooperation, has been started in Chernogolovka. The center will be used in organizing meetings and maintaining contacts in the areas of science, business, and culture.

Despite its rather short history and small size, Chernogolovka is well known, especially in scientific circles. Chernogolovka's scientists and institutes have established scientific ties with many world scientific centers, universities, and companies in the United States, western Europe, and Japan. Several international conferences and seminars are held every year in Chernogolovka. Our top scientists serve on the organizing committees for large, traditional conferences in physics, chemistry, and biology held in Moscow, Chernogolovka, and other cities throughout the world.

The reduction in government support of science and the development of market-style relationships in Russia in the late eighties and early nineties have stimulated Chernogolovka's private sector and pushed the academic institutions to reorganize in order to accelerate the movement of scientific developments into production.

There are already more than 300 different associations, stock- issuing companies, and individual private enterprises in town; a few enterprises have been formed with the participation of foreign capital. Branches of commercial banks, insurance companies, and investment funds all operate here. More than 100 firms aggressively operate here, turning over more than a billion rubles per month. Scientific and technological research has been partially commercialized, dozens of commercial and consulting enterprises of a scientific-technical character have been formed, and contacts have been established with foreign firms. At the present time, a series of joint companies based on unique technological developments and methods have been formed with western firms.

Undoubtedly, the greatest potential for making this town prosperous lies in high technology, and production based on it is the key to the town's future. The physical location of the scientific center, its intellectual potential, social composition, and features of the system for administering public property make Chernogolovka one of the most promising places for realizing a modern model of organization, that is, an economical mechanism for driving innovative processes. The main problem of the present period is preserving and putting to commercial use the intellectual potential of the scientific center, as well as creating a powerful technological team in Chernogolovka. Solution of this problem assumes the formation of specialized financial, consulting, and informational institutions. These include scientific and venture funds in combination with expert advice, banks, investment and insurance companies, licensing companies, a reliable system of telecommunications, legal and consulting firms for the support of entrepreneurial activities, and a system of modern hotel service.

© Presidium of the Scientific Center in Chernogolovka RAS, 1995