“New Trends of Development Fundamental and Applied Physics:
Problems, Achievements and Prospects”
Development of physics in Uzbekistan
Physics is the science that studies the general and the fundamental laws of nature. This science was historically formed in a close relation with other natural sciences such as astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, biology, geology, etc. Among them physics, as the leading science in the recognition of natural phenomena and processes played a major role in the reconstruction and development of modern technique and technology, advanced industries and household, starting with the establishment of the most basic fundamental laws to a very complex physical and physical-technical processes, representing the basis of today's high-demand industries.
Physics in Uzbekistan, as well as in the leading scientific centers of the world, has a strong and principled basis. As a subject, it represents many areas of physics, and as a scientific discipline, it covers the most modern trends in theoretical and experimental physics. Physics is studied and developed dynamically in higher education institutions, academic institutions and organizations concerned with various economic sectors. Highly qualified specialists are prepared systematically, and they successfully work in the spheres of science, education and industry. Particular attention is being paid to cooperation between our scientists and the leading foreign scientists.
At the present time research priorities in the field of theoretical and experimental physics are directed to the development of modern energy, renewable energy (especially solar), electronics, photonics and instrumentation. A special place is the creation of nuclear, radiation, ion-plasma, laser, and polymer technologies to produce materials and composites of various functionality with new features, as well as the development of nanomaterials with unique and special properties through the development of modern nanophysics and nanotechnology.
The modern physics, being one of the main areas of natural sciences, has its own trends, priority areas of research and development strategy. The essence of the trends is based mainly on the systematic development of the areas and sections of physics, namely, the general, theoretical, experimental and special physics. The general physics was served as the basis in the understanding of the natural sciences, and, subsequently, such subjects as mechanics, molecular physics, electricity, optics, atomic and nuclear physics are studied. Those who are specialized in physics study necessarily the main sections of theoretical and experimental physics. In the development of modern physics a peculiar place is for special sections of physics, in particular, physical chemistry, biophysics, geophysics, heliophysics, astrophysics, etc. In general, the development of modern physics is based on carrying out comprehensive studies of the above-mentioned sections, as well as on development of technologies on their base.
Advances in the fields of physics, solutions of actual scientific problems, researches in priority areas, creation of modern methods and devices, use of scientific results, tasks of training specialists with advanced training skills and the highest qualifications, determine the strategy of development of the fields of science. In the formation of strategy of development of modern physics there is a special place for study of the achievements of national and foreign scientific centers in the field of physics. This situation should be taken into account in the organization of courses of training and retraining of management and teaching staff of higher education institutions.
It should be noted that in the historical development of the modern physics an enormous contribution belongs to our ancestors - the founders, scientists and thinkers. The first scientific academy in the Muslim East - "Baitan-Khikama" – was led by an outstanding mathematician al-Khwarizmi (c. 783 – c. 850), who participated in the measurement of the length of the degree of the terrestrial meridian. He wrote works on construction of the astrolabe, "The astronomical tables", as well as a number of scientific tractates - "Tractate on Indian numerals", "Tractate on the sundial," scientific work "Kitab-al-jabrva-l-Muqabala", etc. Al-Khwarizmi was the first who solved a series of algebraic equations, the first who introduced a new character "zero" in the numerical range that expanded the theory of numbers and made it possible to move to a negative numbers. For these achievements in honor of al-Khwarizmi a new branch of mathematics - "algebra" – has been named. The basic concept of modern cybernetics, one of its indispensable foundations - "algorithm" - is etymologically related to the name of al-Khwarizmi.
In IX-XV centuries there was a rapid development of exact and natural sciences (mathematics, astronomy, physics, geodesy, mineralogy, medicine, pharmacology, etc.). Works of Plato, Aristotle, Hippocrates, Galen, Archimedes, Ptolemy, Euclid, and of other great thinkers were translated into Arabic. The level of scientific researches of Muhammad al-Khwarizmi, Ahmad al-Fergani, Abu Nasr Farabi, Abu Rayhan Beruni, Mahmud Kashgari, Abu Ali Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Nasridin Tusi, Kazi-zade Rumi, Jamshid Kashi, Mirzo Ulugbek, Ali Kushchi and other scientists of the East was in some areas much higher than the results of works performed in more recent times by thinkers from other countries. Abu Rayhan Biruni wrote works on history, chronology, mineralogy, astronomy, mathematics. He grounded theoretically and calculated the existence of a new continent on the Earth, as well as solved a number of other tasks that have received worldwide recognition. Many researchers relate the beginning of the formation of Mamun Academy in Old Urgench (now Khiva) with the arrival of Abu Rayhan Biruni in this city, who worked there for a long period.
In the East, in particular in Central Asia, the organization of scientific activity in the form of Academy has become a tradition, and in Samarkand in XV century the Academy was organized by Mirzo Muhammad Taragay Ulugbek. The Academy included an observatory, a rich library of that time and a higher education institution - madrasa. In the madrasa, along with religious sciences, there were courses on basic mathematics, physics, geometry, astronomy, medicine, geography, and other secular sciences. Well-known scientists - Kazi-zade Rumi Giyasitdin Jamshid al-Kashi and Ali Kushchi worked in Ulugbek’s Academy, and, accordingly, the scope of the researches was highly differentiated. Ulugbek’s Academy in Samarkand has made a significant contribution to the development of such sciences as mathematics, physics, astronomy and geography. Ulugbek has left behind a great scientific and cultural heritage - "Zijijadidi Guragoni" ("New Guragani astronomical tables") - the world-famous work of the great scientist "Zij of Ulugbek". The unique catalogue of 1018 stars composed in Samarkand on the base of 30 years of observations for many years remained the best in the world. Achievements of Ulugbek’s astronomical school greatly influenced the development of Western and Eastern science. His scientific works were translated into many languages of the world, and were widely used in Europe and the USA. Mirzo Ulugbek’s name in the history of science is on a par with the names of Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, Copernicus and Galileo. In the Great Hall of the Moscow State University named after M.V.Lomonosov in the commemorative historical gallery of the great scientists of all time a worthy place belongs to the portrait of the outstanding scholar of the Middle Ages - Ulugbek. Mirzo Ulugbek monuments have been established in several cities of Uzbekistan and Belgium, his name has been given to the ancient Samarkand’s observatory, to a number of universities, including the National University of Uzbekistan, as well as to schools, cities’ districts, as well as to township of nuclear physicists in Uzbekistan.
The first scientific institution in Uzbekistan in the XIX century – Tashkent Physical and Astronomical Observatory (today Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan) - was organized in 1873. Initially, the observatory organized expeditions, as a result of which the exact coordinates of more than a thousand locations in the region were determined, and only by 30th years of XX century the observatory became to solve research problems of fundamental astronomical science.
In 1918 special institutions for training specialists in various spheres of economy and culture were established in Turkestan. One of them, opened in April 21, 1918 was Turkestan People's University. A little later its branches were established in Andijan, Kokand, Samarkand, Ferghana, Jizak and other cities. In 1920 the Turkestan State University (1923 - the Central Asian State University, 1960 - Tashkent State University, 2000 - The National University of Uzbekistan) was organized. In 1940, on the basis of the Scientific Committee, formed in Tashkent in 1932, a branch of the Academy of Sciences of USSR in Uzbekistan was organized, and, since that time, this branch became the main research center of Uzbekistan. At that time, it consisted of the institutes of geology, botany, chemistry, problems of water management, history, language and literature, sectors of soil science, zoology, physics, and mathematics (together with the solar technology laboratory).
National University of Uzbekistan named after M. Ulugbek is the largest university of the Republic and it is one of the most prominent educational institutions in Central Asia. The university covers all areas of knowledge required for the preparation of highly qualified specialists in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, political science, philosophy, foreign philology and others.
The faculty of physics of the university was organized in 1959. At the faculty the world-famous scientific schools was formed under the leadership of outstanding physicists: academicians S.A. Asimov, U.O. Aripov, V.A. Jorjio, R. Bekzhanov, P.K. Khabibullaev, B.M. Nosenko, G. Gulyamov, M. Musakhanov, B.S. Yuldashev, K. Mukimov, A.T. Mirzaev, A. Teshaboev, A.T. Mamadalimov, professors Sh. Otazhonov, S. Nuriddinov, A. Abdumalikov, U.V. Valiev, K. Tursunmetov and others. Scientific traditions and achievements of these schools are being successfully continued by their students, academic colleagues in the Republic and abroad.
On 28 January, 2000 by the decree of the President of our Republic I.A. Karimov Tashkent State University was renamed as the National University of Uzbekistan. Our university is one of the most important centers of scientific-educational, cultural, and printing establishments operating not only at the level of our state, but also in Central Asia. "The National Program for Training Specialists", adopted in 1997 under the direct leadership of our President, has become a historic event in the field of education, and today the implementation of its goals is our daily program. Based on the goals, the University team performs several tasks for the preparation of harmoniously developed individuals and highly qualified specialists for the prosperity of our country.
National University of Uzbekistan is the bearing institution of higher education in the fundamental and social-humanitarian spheres of our Republic. At the present time, there are 13 faculties in the University, and its students are trained in 46 directions. The educational process of this stage consists of the humanitarian and social subjects, mathematics and natural-scientific subjects, nationwide professional subjects, specialized subjects, as well as optional subjects. There are 108 specialties for Master’s degree. The educational process in the University involves 95 departments (chairs), more than 1000 professors, teachers and leading specialists of research institutes and centers. In particular, scientists of the Institute of Mathematics, the Research Center of Chemistry and Physics of Polymers are actively involved in preparation of specialists. In the University there are about 10000 students in the areas of undergraduate and graduate programs, there is an active training of highly qualified specialists - doctors of sciences.
The Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan #PP-2527 on May 11, 2016 approved measures for further improvement of the activity of the National University of Uzbekistan. It has been established that the National University of Uzbekistan named after Mirzo Ulugbek is the basic institution of higher education of the Republic in the sphere of training in mathematics, natural sciences and humanitarian fields of higher education. Updated structure of the University was approved. In particular, four new departments of physical profile were organized on the basis of the abolished Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan and the Institute of Applied Physics at NUUz.
The main objectives of the activity of NUUz were identified as follows:
- implementation of the modern requirements for highly qualified teaching and research training in the field of fundamental and humanitarian sciences, ensuring the development and improvement of educational programs of higher education as the basic university of the Republic;
- undertaking of fundamental scientific research, the development of native scientific schools in perspective high-tech areas of science, the further strengthening of cooperation with leading foreign universities and research centers in the areas of science and higher education;
- coordination of educational, scientific, methodical and cultural activities of higher educational institutions of the country, provision of the continuity and the succession of stages of the system of continuous education;
- improving the system of training and upgrading the skills of teachers of the representatives of the higher educational institutions and specialists of the scientific and research organizations at the level of the recognized international requirements and standards.
Currently, in the field of physics there are fundamental researches in nuclear physics, nuclear reactions, radiation material science, activation analysis, interaction of nuclei, atomic particles, laser and solar radiation with matter and materials, as well as in the field of physics of metals, semiconductors, polymers, composites, inhomogeneous media, plasma, solitons, etc. Today, nanoscience and nanotechnologies are dynamically developed. Scientific discoveries in this area can promote achievement of high efficiency and economy in such important fields as economics, medicine, biology, ecology, aviation, electronics. In studies of the science of future - the science on nanotechnology – young scientists exhibit their potential. Young scientists actively participate in international conferences, widely represent these major achievements of science in our country to the world scientific community. In order to increase the number of talented students in the university there is a close cooperation with other universities and research institutions of our country.
There are 8 priority areas of science and technology in the Republic of Uzbekistan, comprising the state research programs in the field of fundamental, applied, innovative researches for the development of modern science and economy. Physicists of the National University of Uzbekistan are actively involved in the implementation of these state research programs, particularly in the following areas:
- the study of actual problems of physics, astronomy and astrophysics;
- the study of problems of power, mechanical engineering and the automotive industry;
- the study of scientific bases and principal methods to increase the efficiency of conversion and use of renewable energy sources;
- the production of new materials based on local raw materials and the development of modern nanoscale physics and nanotechnology.
Surely, such a wide-ranging work on the development of fundamental and experimental physics, as well as the scientific and intellectual potential in the field of physics, the improvement of the scientific and technical base and the expansion of international relations contributes to the further development of our country.