About FRIB at MSU

Everything to know about FRIB, the world-leading rare isotope research facility

A world leader in nuclear science, Michigan State University is home to the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB).

FRIB is where researchers from all career stages and backgrounds come together to make discoveries that change the world. They study the properties and fundamental interactions of rare isotopes and nuclear astrophysics and their impact on medicine, homeland security, and industry.

MSU’s nuclear physics graduate program has been top ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Having a world-class research facility in the heart of campus makes MSU stand out in nuclear physics education. Learn more in the FRIB News section.

FRIB is a scientific user facility for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC), supporting the mission of the DOE-SC Office of Nuclear Physics. User facility operation is supported by the DOE-SC Office of Nuclear Physics as one of 28 DOE-SC user facilities.

Excerpt from the Frontiers of Nuclear Science

“Especially critical are experiments with rare isotope beams. . . . Yet, the field is still in its infancy and limited by no access to the rarest isotopes. . . . To address this limitation [requires] a next-generation Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), which will deliver the highest intensity beams of rare isotopes available anywhere.”

Learn more about FRIB’s foundation, partnerships, and opportunities

Home to a top-ranked U.S. nuclear physics graduate program, FRIB provides researchers with the most advanced tools of modern science, including what is designed to be the most powerful heavy-ion accelerator.

Researching the properties and interactions of rare isotopes—short-lived nuclei not normally found on Earth—paves the way for scientific breakthroughs, including new approaches to diagnosing and treating cancer and other diseases, and strengthening national security.

FRIB has the foundation, partnerships, and opportunities critical to enable breakthrough discoveries in nuclear science and applications for the benefit of society.

A foundation of excellence

This one-of-a-kind facility uses the next-generation technology needed for next-generation rare isotope experiments. The foundation for this vision—now implemented in FRIB—is to use fast, stopped, and reaccelerated rare isotope beams produced by fragmentation to yield consistently high intensities of beams in minimal beam development times.

Today, FRIB hosts what is designed to be the most powerful heavy-ion accelerator, allowing scientists to pursue cutting-edge physics with greater efficiency and vigor.

Partnerships that lead to success

FRIB is a complex, interdisciplinary enterprise that requires the expertise, aspirations, and resources of a host of collaborators.

FRIB’s origin and ongoing operation rely on a strong partnership between DOE-SC, MSU, and national laboratories—all committed to fundamental research into the properties of atomic nuclei, particularly rare isotopes.

FRIB also enjoys a strong partnership with its user community. FRIB users—researchers from universities, industries, federal laboratories, and nonprofits from around the world—provide expert guidance to the FRIB Laboratory team in the identification of opportunities and planning of experiments, and they play a crucial role in sharing the newly generated knowledge. From these partnerships radiate the networks of scientists and knowledge that fulfill the promise to deliver discoveries, develop applications for society, and educate the next generation of nuclear scientists who will advance the benefits of rare isotope science for generations to come.

Opportunities to discover and lead

With its heavy-ion accelerator for conducting rare isotope experiments, FRIB allows scientists to advance their search for answers to fundamental questions about the structure of atomic nuclei and their applications for society and benefits to humankind.

Each year, MSU awards 10 percent of the nation’s nuclear physics doctorate degrees.

In addition to tailor-made coursework, students receive training in cutting-edge technologies—including using what is designed to be the most powerful heavy-ion accelerator—and advancements in their fields of study. They are certified, well-trained, and ready for productive careers in areas where there are critical workforce needs.

Interested in learning more as a graduate student? Explore the FRIB graduate students page today.