Event celebrates 40 years of science at NSCL

On 12 August, the FRIB Laboratory held a special event titled “40 Years of Science at NSCL” to recognize the science resulting from the successful operation of the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) as a National Science Foundation (NSF) user facility for four decades and celebrate the scientific accomplishments. At the end of May 2022, the final NSCL experiment completed, nearly 40 years after the first NSCL experiment in September 1982.   

Approximately 400 guests—including officials from Michigan State University (MSU), NSF, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), former NSCL staff and students, and MSU faculty—attended the event (either in person or remotely) to celebrate NSCL. Activities included facility tours, gatherings in the atrium and public spaces, and a special lunch before the official program.

Speakers at the program included:

  • MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.
  • FRIB Scientific Director and NSCL Director Bradley M. Sherrill
  • FRIB Laboratory Director Thomas Glasmacher
  • University Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at MSU Walter Benenson
  • Former NSCL Director Konrad Gelbke
  • NSF Physics Division Director Denise Caldwell
  • NSF Nuclear Physics Program Director Allena Opper
  • DOE Associate Director for Nuclear Physics of the Office of Science Timothy J. Hallman
  • Former NSCL students, postdocs, and staff (Barbara Jacak, Dan Magestro, Navin Alahari, Amy Lovell, Rebecca Lewis, and Don Lawton)
  • FRIB Deputy Scientific Director Alexandra Gade
  • Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics – Center for the Evolution of the Elements Director Hendrik Schatz
  • Professor of Physics Bill Lynch

“The success of NSCL was a result of the vision of its founders and the dedication and talent of our staff, faculty, and students,” said Sherrill. “There were always lots of ideas, but NSCL succeeded because of a group of people who could make any idea reality… The science was done by NSCL users. We are glad so many could join today’s event. We strived to give you the tools to do great science and congratulate you on what you accomplished.”

Sherrill concluded the program with a thanks to the many people responsible for NSCL. “For everyone who contributed to NSCL, rest assured you made a difference and together we made major advances in science, education, and public outreach.”

In September, the cooperative agreement with NSF to fund NSCL will end. That will complete nearly four decades of continuous funding and an equal period of outstanding accomplishments. FRIB, a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC) user facility, opened its doors with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on 2 May.

Below is a photo gallery showcasing the “40 Years of Science at NSCL” event.

40 Years of Science at NSCL