On the 7th of February, the Faculty of Science hosted three Russian scientists from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, Russia. On their month long visit to South Africa, Alexander Ayriyan, Hovik Grigorian and David Elvin Alvarez-Castillo joined us for a 90 minute seminar on various topics within their various fields.

The Joint Institute for Nuclear Research is an international intergovernmental organisation who among its latest achievements have synthesised new superheavy elements 113-118 which can be found on the periodic table of elements.

First off was Mr Alvarez-Castillo, who spoke about ‘Supporting the existence of the QCD critical by compact star observations.’ The presentation depicted and broke down the structure of a neutron star. Amongst other things he covered, he talked about Nuclear Interaction and ended off his talk with explaining what occurs when two neutron stars merge.

Next was Mr Grigorian who spoke to us about the ‘Cooling evolution of neutron stars’ and left the audience with the notion that “cold matter is never really cold”. Mr Ayriyan rounded off the talk with a brief summary of a ‘Bayesian analysis for extracting properties of the nuclear equation of state from observational data’ including the Bayesian Theorem to calculate the probability of various events.

The talk was interesting and informative and inspired interesting and inquisitive questions from the audience. The Faculty of Science would like to thank these three scientists for sharing their piece of knowledge with our current and future scientists, we hope that this is the beginning of a fruitful relationship with Nelson Mandela University and the Faculty of Science and we wish them the very best!