Book, music, special event celebrate '50 Years of Beam at MSU'

The National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams Project hosted a special "50 Years of Beam at MSU" event today. Former and current laboratory employees, peers and colleagues, and other honored guests joined together to celebrate a half-century of nuclear-physics accomplishments at MSU, and look forward to the next frontier — FRIB.

MSU’s first cyclotron, the K50, was completed in 1965 and used for nuclear physics research with proton beams. Fifty years since the first beam was accelerated from the K50 cyclotron, MSU is poised for the next generation of nuclear physics, as it builds FRIB.

The morning program included a presentation of “Up From Nothing: The Michigan State University Cyclotron Laboratory,” a book about the history of the Cyclotron Laboratory by Sam Austin, Laboratory Director Emeritus; original compositions by MSU College of Music faculty member Mark Sullivan, and alumni Benjamin Fuhrman and Matthew Schoendorff; and memories from those who spearheaded the nuclear physics accomplishments at MSU.

Sam's book provides a first-hand account of the pioneers who created a laboratory that has been at the forefront of nuclear science for 50 years. Looking at the personal stories behind the challenges and successes, he weaves a personal narrative that gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the creation of a world-class laboratory from – quite literally – nothing.

The celebration concluded with special remarks focused on the history of nuclear physics at MSU and how it has fostered strong relationships between the university, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy. Speakers included MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon, National Science Foundation Deputy Division Director for the Division of Physics Bradley Keister and U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science Associate Director of Science for Nuclear Physics Timothy Hallman. 

Program elements available for review

"Up From Nothing: The Michigan State University Cyclotron Laboratory" by Sam Austin is available for purchase from MSU Press.

View photos of the event online: "50 Years of Beam at MSU" gallery