Users Excited About Science Opportunities at FRIB

EAST LANSING, Mich. – During the conceptual design phase for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), large numbers of users are already visiting East Lansing anticipating the science that a new facility will make possible. The latest event for FRIB users was held Feb. 20-22 in East Lansing and attended by more than 250 scientists representing 76 institutions in 15 countries.

Attendees discussed experimental equipment that will be needed to produce scientific breakthroughs at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) at Michigan State University. FRIB is the half-billion dollar federally funded rare isotope research user facility being developed on the MSU campus. The uses of rare isotopes range from understanding how stars work to developing new medical diagnostic methods.

Suzanne Lapi, assistant professor of radiology at Washington University, attended the workshop with specific applications in mind.

"We're interested at looking at new isotopes for cancer therapy and imaging," Lapi said.

Eighteen sessions were held during the weekend by working groups specializing in instruments, experimental areas, and scientific topics which then presented summaries of their discussions in plenary sessions. Some of the working groups are already constructing equipment that will be used first at existing facilities, then at FRIB. Other groups are exploring new concepts that will be needed to take advantage of the wide range of isotopes FRIB will produce. Most of the groups plan to hold further meetings in coming months to refine their equipment concepts.

Bradley Sherrill, FRIB chief scientist, said it’s important for users to come together and communicate what tools are needed to run certain experiments at FRIB.
“We are excited to host this important meeting of some of the top physicists in the world,” Sherrill said. “We are listening closely to ensure that as we plan FRIB, it will have all the tools these researchers need to conduct groundbreaking experiments once FRIB is running later this decade.”