Workshop at MSU addresses opportunities to collect isotopes for applications from FRIB

The second workshop on the collection of rare isotopes at FRIB, or Isotope Harvesting, was held on the campus of Michigan State University on July 23-24, 2012. This workshop focused on the capabilities FRIB will provide, additional equipment and space necessary to harvest isotopes, and categories of radioisotopes of interest for applications. A previous workshop held in Santa Fe in 2010 focused on identifying long-lived radioisotopes FRIB could produce for various applications.

Radioactive isotopes are used in a wide variety of applications ranging from medical diagnostics to the tracing of groundwater migration patterns. They serve as sensitive probes in materials science studies of nano-scale devices or in the study of mechanical wear of novel materials. The use of radioisotopes is well known in medical imaging and therapy having impacted the lives of millions of patients. FRIB will provide access to the widest range of isotopes ever and will provide unusual isotopes for exploratory studies with a very short development time. FRIB will access to the full spectrum of known, important radioisotopes, such as 7Be, 8Li, 11Be, 32Si, and many others.  More importantly, FRIB can enable future advances in the applied sciences by providing scientists access to thousands of radioactive isotopes that are not normally available.

The two-day workshop at MSU was organized by University of Washington St. Louis, Hope College, and MSU with financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy. More than 25 participants from these institutions as well as from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of Missouri, and Simon Fraser University took part in plenary sessions and in working groups. The meeting was also attended by Dennis Phillips, DOE Office of Science/Nuclear Physics Program Manager for Stable Isotopes and Accountable Material, and by Doug Gage, Director of Interdisciplinary Research in MSU’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies.