In 1956, the Physics Institute of the Academy split into an Institute of
Atomic Physics (IFA), located at Magurele, outside Bucharest, under
Hulubei's direction, and the Bucharest Institute of Physics (IFB), based
at the Faculty of Physics of the Bucharest University.
On Hulubei's initiative and with his direct support, IFA specialists
designed their first electronic computer, a premiere in the Soviet bloc
countries, in 1956. The first device, CIFA1, working at a rate of 50
instructions per second, was put into operation a year later.
That same year a VVRS fission reactor and a U120 cyclotron, both of Soviet
make, were put into service on the IFA site, at Magurele.
The first Romanian laser, a He-Ne infrared device developed by Professor
Ion I. Agarbiceanu and his team, came on stream October 20, 1962. A few
months on, the achievement was reported at the 3rd Quantum Electronic
Congress that was held in Paris in February 1963.
Ioan Ursu, pro-rector of Babes-Bolyai University and head of the Nuclear
Physics and Electromagnetism Division at the Cluj Faculty of Physics, was
appointed director of IFA, as Hulubei retired in 1968. He continued and
expanded his predecessor's concepts. Under his guidance, IFA spearheaded
the introduction of nuclear energetics in Romania.
The Central Institute of Physics (ICEFIZ) was created in 1973 as an
umbrella institution incorporating IFA, IFB, and anything throughout the
country that had to do with physical research and education, including a
factory of nuclear devices and a heavy water facility.
In 1974, an FN tandem accelerator (upgraded later to 9MV) was brought in from HVEC of the U.S.,
and a radioisotope production center, the result of a cooperation between
local researchers and Britain's General Electric Co. and Nuclear
Enterprises, was established at Magurele. Also, a nuclear waste processing
and storage center from Fairey Engineering, U.K., was installed.
As ICEFIZ was overhauled in 1977, IFA and IFB merged into the Institute of
Physics and Nuclear Engineering (IFIN, now IFIN-HH), with Professor Florin
Ciorascu as director. At the same time, new institutes specializing in
nuclear reactors, materials technology, radiation devices, space sciences,
earth physics, seismology, etc., mushroomed around it on the Magurele
site. In June 1977, Marin Ivascu was appointed as director general of
In the period from 1977 to 1990, IFIN and the other ICEFIZ institutes
played an important role in promoting the commercial use of advanced
technologies such as ionic nitration - a coating that extended 46-fold the
lifetime of mechanical devices on which it was applied - vacuum pumps and
systems, electron beam welding, and thin film deposition in vacuum.
ICEFIZ was replaced in 1990 by an expanded IFA, which aside from IFIN
included all of the Magurele institutes: IFTM-materials physics and
technology; IFTAR-physics and technology of radiation devices;
IGSS-gravity and space sciences; IOEL-optoelectronics; and CFPS-earth
physics and seismology. Other physical research institutes around the
country, dealing with criogenics and isotope separation (Ramnicu Valcea),
technical physics (Iasi), and isotope and molecular technology (Cluj),
also became part of IFA.
IFIN and several other institutes of physics were separately accredited as
national institutes in 1996. On the occasion, IFIN was renamed as the
Horia Hulubei National Institute of Research and Development in Physics
and Nuclear Engineering (IFIN-HH).
In 2000, a multipurpose high-dose, gamma-ray irradiator (IRASM) went into
operation at IFIN-HH.
A year on, IDRANAP, a Center for Inter-disciplinary Research and
Applications based on Nuclear and Atomic Physics was set up. Acknowledged
as a center of excellence of the European Commission, it specialized in
applying nuclear methods to areas such as the study of environmental
pollutants, biology and medical sciences, materials characterization, and
A succession of directors, including Gheorghe Pascovici, Mircea Oncescu,
Valeriu Zoran, Gheorghe Mateescu, Mihai Petrovici, and Emilian Dragulescu,
headed the Institute in the years from 1990 to 2004. Nicolae Victor Zamfir
took over as director general of IFIN-HH in the summer 2004.
The research infrastructure of IFIN-HH has continuously developed in order
to become a representative Romanian institute for the 21st century physics at European and international level,
in fundamental and applied nuclear physics.
In this regard, the "Large Capacities Programme - Infrastructure Development for frontier research in
Nuclear Physics and related fields" (Financing Contract no. 7 PM / 29.10.2008), provided IFIN-HH a standard which is similar
to other important institutes worldwide, promoting competitive research in an international context.
The objectives of the Large Capacities Programme were divided into eight sub-projects, integrated in
the following three main areas of activity:
- The development of RDI infrastructure in nuclear physics;
- Applications of nuclear technologies;
- Supporting the participation in large international projects.
The implemented components of the programme are:
FAIR - Laboratory for developing and testing methods related to international project FAIR / NUSTAR (RO @ NUSTAR)
TANDIMED - Radiocarbon center for environmental and biosciences
TRITIULAB - Tritium laboratory with multiple users
EMMAS - Center of nuclear spectrometry for energy, environment, materials and health
CCR - Research centre for radiopharmaceuticals
CEXMECDIF - Research center of excellence for distributed computing, methodical, physics and participation in large international collaborations
CLSRMA - Local center for radiological environmental surveillance
LNSP - Development of underground laboratory for measurement and detection in ultra-low background of atmospheric muons.
European project, valued at almost 300M Euro without VAT, is cofinanced by the European Commission and the Romanian Government from
Structural Funds (SOP IEC) via the European Regional Development Fund. ELI-NP represents the Romanian research centre part of the
European distributed infrastructure ELI (http://www.eli-np.ro/about.php), based on two main pieces of research equipment, a laser system
that will produce two 10PW beams, and a gamma beam system that will produce highly collimated, high intensity gamma radiation with tunable
energy up to 20MeV. Due to the unique combination of these instruments worldwide, ELI-NP will be able to tackle a wide range of research
topics in fundamental physics, nuclear physics and astrophysics, and also research that will soon find applications in materials science,
management of nuclear materials, and life sciences.
The implementation began in 2012 on the Măgurele Physics campus (near Bucharest). The first experiments with the High Power Laser have started
in March 2020.
IFIN-HH will continue to develop its infrastructure, manpower, and expertise. Bringing bright young people on the frontiers
of Science and blending their enthusiasm with the experience and educated tenacity of the elder is believed to make a sure
recipe to guarantee a long-term sustainability of our plans.
|Horia Hulubei (1896 - 1972)
Contribution to the study of quantum diffusion of X-rays
(Ph.D. Thesis, Paris, 1933).
Supervisor: Jean Perrin (Nobel Prize).
Chairman: Marie Curie (Nobel Prize).
Founder and First Director of the Institute.
|Serban Titeica (1908 - 1985)
On the behaviour of electric resistence of metals in magnetic field
(Ph.D. Thesis, Leipzig, 1934).
Supervisor: Werner Heisenberg (Nobel Prize).
First Scientific Director of our Institute.
|Ioan Ursu (1928 - 2007)
Magneto-mechanical phenomena in oxygen
(Ph.D. Thesis, Cluj, 1956).
Supervisor: Horia Hulubei.
Director of the Institute.
|Marin Ivascu (1931 - 2013)
Elastic and inelastic diffusion of alpha particles on medium mass nuclei
(Ph.D. Thesis, Bucharest, 1968).
Supervisor: Horia Hulubei.
Director of the Institute.