The next frontier

Since the early 1990s, nuclear physicists had been discussing the need for a facility to produce intense beams of rare isotopes. National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) leadership and scientists made a presentation to the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy (DOE) on the benefits of siting the new facility at Michigan State University (MSU), which included a proposal for in-flight fragmentation. After a rigorous competition, the DOE Office of Science (DOE- SC) awarded the project to MSU in 2008.

The partnership to create, build, and operate the $730 million FRIB will deliver a world-class DOE-SC user facility that will ensure the nation’s continued competitiveness in nuclear science through provision of unprecedented discovery potential. Scheduled for completion in 2022, it will host scientists who will conduct experiments, extend the frontier of nuclear science, and help define the next frontier and—for FRIB and MSU—the next reinvention needed to reach and transcend it.

Progression of experimental capability at MSU

K50 (cyclotron for protons)

Superconducting magnet

K500 (superconducting cyclotron for heavy ions)

K1200 (superconducting cyclotron for heavy ions)

A1200 beams (in-flight separated rare isotopes)

Coupled cyclotron facility (world’s most powerful rare isotope facility until 2007)

LEBIT – Low Energy Beam and Ion Trap (stopped rare isotopes)

ReA3 (re-accelerated rare isotopes)

FRIB (fast, stopped, reaccelerated rare isotopes)