Michigan State University (MSU) will soon be home of the most advanced machines for nuclear physics in the world.
The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (F-RIB) is scheduled to open on MSU’s campus in 2022 and is the first of its kind in the world. The F-RIB will allow for rare elements to be created through isotopes—each of two or more forms of the same element that contain equal numbers of protons but different numbers of neutrons in their nuclei, and therefore differ in relative atomic mass but not in chemical properties. These elements include thousands that have never been studied before.
The $730 million particle accelerator will allow for an immense amount of scientific advancement. The isotopes created by the machine could allow for major advancements in cancer research and defense industries.
“[The use of the F-RIB] does reach across a lot of different disciplines including engineering. It gives the student body more opportunities,” Brad Bull, conventional facilities and infrastructure division director, said.
MSU was selected in 2008 to house this machine due to the size of the campus and potential the university held. For the past six years, MSU has been home of the best nuclear physics program in the United States.
“I think Michigan State is going to do lots of good things in the future,” Vidalia Wenclick of Ovid-Elsie High School said. “It’s also surprising because our state is not as financially stable as some other states, but I think it’s a good opportunity for Michigan.”
According to Bull, not only will this facility bring recognition to the university and Michigan, but also the rest of the country.
“If you wanted to study cutting-edge, low-energy physics right now, you would go to Japan,” Bull said. “The best and the brightest are over there and they’ll come here [once the F-RIB is constructed]. This will be really big for the country.”