EAST LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC) has awarded $529 million to continue world-leading nuclear science research at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) at Michigan State University. The new cooperative agreement provides $529,068,000 over five years to operate FRIB as a DOE-SC user facility to enable unprecedented discovery opportunities envisioned by a user community of 1,800 scientists who support the mission of the DOE-SC Office of Nuclear Physics.

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According to the Dept. of Energy, one of the enduring mysteries of the universe is the nature of matter – what are its basic constituents and how do they interact to form the elements and the properties we observe? The mission of the Nuclear Physics (NP) program is to solve this mystery by discovering, exploring, and understanding all forms of nuclear matter. The Office of Science national scientific user facilities provide researchers with the most advanced tools of modern science, including accelerators, colliders, supercomputers, light sources and neutron sources, as well as facilities for studying the nano world, the environment, and the atmosphere.

The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) enables scientists to make discoveries about the properties of rare isotopes, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions and applications for society, including in medicine, homeland security and industry.

FRIB Laboratory Director Thomas Glasmacher said in a statement about the award, “We are grateful to the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Congress and MSU for their continued trust in FRIB to advance the nation’s science program with respect to rare isotope research. This new award enables FRIB to provide unparalleled discovery opportunities for world-leading scientists to spur discoveries that will benefit humankind and, by being located on the campus of a major research university, we will inspire students to join the next generation of engineers and scientists.”

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Since the start of user operation in May 2022, FRIB has delivered more than 200 rare isotope beams to experiments and supported 506 participants, including 94 students across 39 countries and 136 institutions (including U.S. national laboratories, colleges and universities).

FRIB’s scientific user community is comprised of 1,800 scientists from 123 U.S. colleges and universities, 12 national laboratories and 51 countries – including scientists, postdoctoral research associates and graduate students. The community continues to develop new instruments and concepts to optimize FRIB’s discovery potential, based on new scientific insights.

Bradley Sherrill, Scientific Director of FRIB told WILX-TV 10, “With the beams that we have, we can simulate decades’ worth of radiation exposure in a matter of minutes. That allows companies to make electronics that work better in space environments or just on Earth because there are cosmic rays, there’s radiation that’s natural in the environment and we can help make those things better.”

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