Accelerator Science and Engineering

Training the next-generation workforce

Particle accelerators are the backbone of nuclear physics research. These powerful machines—used in discovery science as well as fields like medicine, materials science and the high-tech industry—smash atoms together, allowing researchers to study the aftermath. Accelerators are highly adaptable and can be constructed in a variety of sizes, ranging from a small tabletop version to the size of a small city.

The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) is designed to be the world’s most powerful heavy-ion accelerator. Using a high-power superconducting linear accelerator to accelerate ion beams to more than half the speed of light, FRIB creates rare isotopes that have never before been produced on Earth.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have become rapidly advancing fields, focusing on data-informed computational technology to augment or automate human abilities. These fields continue to advance with the growing amount of data available and the increased computer processing power. Because of their complexities, tuning heavy-ion accelerators between experiments and optimizing their performance have become a growing challenge. FRIB uses AI and ML to automate and improve accelerator performance, allowing more time to produce rare isotopes and continue conducting groundbreaking research.

FRIB prioritizes leveraging its resources to train the next-generation workforce in high-demand accelerator science and engineering fields. To achieve this goal, FRIB partners with MSU academic programs to offer unique opportunities:

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