Vera Adamchuk, portrayed by Natalia Bakut

An Artwork reminds on the scientist who cofounded the Russian German Collaboration at BESSY II

It seems, she has just calculated something, a hand lies on the paper, next to the pen. The other one supports the chin, relaxed and curious, she looks at the viewer. The Russian physicist Vera Adamchuk is immortalized in the bronze relief attached to a column in the BESSY II hall.

Vera Adamchuk, cofounder of the Russian German Collaboration at BESSY II portrayed by Natalia Bakut
Vera Adamchuk, cofounder of the Russian German Collaboration at BESSY II, portrayed by Natalia Bakut.

The column stands in front of the dipole beam line of the Russian-German laboratory. Vera Adamchuk is regarded as a pioneer of German-Russian cooperation in the field of synchrotron radiation. She co-founded the Russian-German laboratory at BESSY II in 2001. In 2016, after a long and productive life, she died at the age of 83.

She sent her student from St. Petersburg to BESSY II in Berlin

Vera Adamchuk was already an elderly lady when Dimitry Marchenko joined her group in St. Petersburg as a student.

Russian German Beamline
A snapshot of the Russian German Beamline at BESSY II.

“She was very well connected and extremely committed. She organized everything from her desk by making targeted calls,” Marchenko remembers.

Through her mediation, he came to Berlin to BESSY II, where he is now a scientist in the team of Oliver Rader, who is a partner of the Russian-German Laboratory.

Science meets Art

After her death, Rader and colleagues from the Russian-German Laboratory had thought about commissioning something to commemorate Vera Adamchuk. They made contact with Marchenko’s mother, Natalia Bakut from Irkutsk. She is a sculptor well known for her artwork in stone and precious stones.

Natalia Bakut had already heard of her son’s mentor Vera Adamchuk. And she was ready to get involved with the team of physicists who all wanted to contribute their own ideas. After many hand-drawn sketches, the idea arose to create a photo as a three-dimensional bronze profile.

Now Vera Adamchuk watches benevolently at the column as the next generation on the Russian-German beamline unveils the secrets of matter.


On 28. October 2019, the Undulator Beamline of the Russian-German Laboratory at BESSY II is inaugurated.


Some impressions of the work of Natalia Bakut can be seen here.