ESD Offers Members-Only Tour At America’s Newest ‘Atom Smasher’

SOUTHFIELD — The Engineering Society of Detroit will offer a members-only tour of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, the nation’s newest particle accelerator, on Thursday, Jan. 15 on the campus of Michigan State University.

The tour will run from 2 to 4 p.m. at the accelerator, 640 S. Shaw Lane in East Lansing.

Particle accelerators are among the highest forms of high-tech. They use magnets and high voltage to accelerate atoms close to the speed of light, and force them into collisions with a variety of materials and other particles. The resulting debris can produce clues to conditions of the early universe, shortly after the Big Bang. Accelerators also produce rare isotopes that are extremely valuable in medical imaging and other experimentation.

That’s the mission behind America’s newest “atom smasher,” the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, at Michigan State University. Join The Engineering Society of Detroit for an exclusive, members-only look at this marvel of modern engineering on Thursday, Jan. 15.

Scheduled for completion in 2022, the FRIB will be a new national user facility for nuclear science. The $730 million project is being funded by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, MSU and the state of Michigan. To be operated by MSU — home of the nation’s No. 1-ranked graduate program in nuclear physics — the FRIB will provide intense beams of rare isotopes (that is, short-lived nuclei not normally found on Earth). FRIB will enable scientists to make discoveries about the properties of these rare isotopes in order to better understand the structure of nuclei, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, and applications for society.

The tour begins at 2 p.m. with registration and networking in the FRIB, on South Shaw Lane between Farm Lane and Bogue Street on the MSU campus. Parking is available at a garage across Shaw Lane. The tour itself will be conducted from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Due to national regulations, there are restrictions on the tour for citizens of Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria; contact ESD for details.

The cost of the tour is $25 for ESD members. Or join ESD for $60 — a 40 percent discount — and take the tour for free. (This offer is good for new, first-time members only.)

Sign up by calling (248) 353-0735, ext. 222. More about the tour, including links to a map to the laboratory, parking instructions, suggestions for visitors, and what to expect on the tour, at

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