FRIB will make possible a range of new scientific opportunities. These have been well documented in recent years in a range of publications, including:
Reaching for the Horizon (PDF), the 2015 Long Range Plan for Nuclear Science, the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee
FRIB Opening New Frontiers in Nuclear Science (PDF), an FRIB User Community update on the science of FRIB, September 2012
Nuclear Physics: Exploring the Heart of Matter, National Research Council of the National Academies outlook on the status and future of nuclear science, June 2012
FRIB Scientific and Technical Merit (PDF), prepared by Michigan State University in response to the DOE FOA DE-PS02-08ER41535 and providing detail on the FRIB program and required equipment, 2009
FRIB is the first recommendation in the 2012 National Academies Decadal Study of Nuclear Physics, “Nuclear Physics: Exploring the Heart of Matter.” The recommendation states that “The Department of Energy’s Office of Science, in conjunction with the state of Michigan and Michigan State University, should work toward the timely completion of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams and the initiation of its physics program.”
In support of the recommendation, the study describes FRIB as “a major new strategic investment in nuclear science” that “will have unique capabilities and will offer opportunities to answer fundamental questions about the inner workings of the atomic nucleus, the formation of the elements in our universe, and the evolution of the cosmos.” The 2015 Long Range Plan for Nuclear Science by the U.S. Department of Energy and National Science Foundation Nuclear Science Advisory Committee reinforces the National Academies’ recommendation, calling for priority completion of FRIB in its first recommendation: “Expeditiously completing the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) construction is essential. Initiating its scientific program will revolutionize our understanding of nuclei and their role in the cosmos.”
The 2015 Long-Range Plan Report, from which we've summarized key sections, goes on to describe science questions that can be addressed under four main themes: nuclear structure, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental symmetries, and potential benefits to the nation and humankind.