Yerevan Physics Institute

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Yerevan Physics Institute (Armenian: Երևանի Ֆիզիկայի Ինստիտուտ) is a research and development institute, located in Yerevan, Armenia. It was founded in 1942 as a branch of Yerevan State University by brothers, Abraham Alikhanov and Artem Alikhanian. It was often referred to by the acronym YerPhI (ԵրՖԻ). In 2011 it was renamed to A. Alikhanyan National Laboratory (AANL)(Yerevan Physics Institute).


The Institute was founded because of the scientific missions of brothers Abraham Alikhanov and Artem Alikhanian to Mt. Aragats, the highest peak in modern Armenia. The aim of these expeditions was to study cosmic rays. Proton and neutron components as well as narrow air showers were discovered during these investigations. The Alikhanov - Alikhanian mass spectrometer was developed here and became the prototype for hodoscopic devices that have played a major role in nuclear physics research. The search for new particles resulted in discovery of existence of rather energetic particles as a component of cosmic rays (USSR license for discovery N 384). In 1963 the Institute was transferred to the USSR State Committee on Atomic Energy. The construction of an electron accelerator accomplished in 1967 became an important landmark in the history of the YerPhI.

In 1970 a group from YerPhi was awarded the Lenin Prize for the development of track spark chambers.

Physicists – Pioneers of the Yerevan Physics Institute[edit]

Tina Asatiani – Joined Institute in 1943, Head of Muon Lab. 1960-1987

Gregory Garibian– Joined Institute in 1948, Head of Lab. of Interaction of Charged Particles with Matter 1966-1991

V. Kharitonov - Joined in 1940s

Gerasim Marikian – Joined in 1950s, Head of Lab. in Nor Amberd (Aragats) 1960-1986

Khachick Babayan – Deputy Director of Institute 1956-1969

Ruben Laziev

Zemphira Kirakosyan – Joined in 1952, Head of Lab. on Investigation of Film Information 1974-1998

Levon Afrikyan – Joined in 1950s, Theoretical Physicist

I.Goldman - Joined in 1950s, Theoretical Physicist

Andrey Amatuni – Joined in 1960s, Director of Institute 1973-1992

Eric Mamijanyan – Head of Cosmic Ray Division 1969-1992

Vahram Avakyan – Head of Aragats station 1963-1993

Aida Akopova – Joined in 1960s, Head of Lab. on Treating of Nuclear Emulsion

M. Lorikyan

Yang Chi – Joined in 1960s, Theoretical Physicist

Sergey Matinyan – Head of Lab. of Theory of Elementary Particles (1970-1992)


The institute with 6 GeV electron ring accelerator (the largest in the former USSR) is located on 300,000 square meters. YerPhI also has two high-altitude Cosmic Ray Stations on Mount Aragats (3,200 m) and Nor Amberd (2,000 m).

The scientific activities of YerPhI include:

  • Researches on quantum field theory and statistical physics,
  • Investigations of electromagnetic interactions of hadrons and nuclei in the intermediate energy range, executed on the photon and electron beams of YerPhI accelerator.
  • Investigations on the bases of the accelerators abroad (international collaborations at TJNAF, HERA, CERN, JINR).

YerPhI groups actively participate in construction of the Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes at the Canarias islands and in Namibia.[1]


  1. ^ ANNL Status report, 2012

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°12′23″N 44°29′06″E / 40.20639°N 44.48500°E / 40.20639; 44.48500