Join ESD For MSU Atom Smasher Tour Thursday

EAST LANSING — A look at one of the nation’s busiest working particle accelerators and a peek at the construction of its next-generation successor is the program for the next exclusive Engineering Society of Detroit members-only tour.

ESD members will get a look deep inside Michigan State University’s National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL), as well as get the latest on the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), currently under construction next door.

The tour will begin with an extensive slideshow introduction with demonstrations in the NSCL seminar room. Then, attendees will be broken up into groups of no more than 12 people, and graduate student tour guides will lead groups of visitors on a 45-minute walking tour.

Note that the NSCL is a working laboratory. On the day of the tour, some areas may be inaccessible. Most tours visit a number of detectors, the reaccelerator, the clean room, the machine shop, or the control room.

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.

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 nuclear physics program – 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, and other applications for society.

Due to national regulations, there are restrictions on the tour for minors, as well as citizens of Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria.

The event begins with registration and networking at 2 p.m. The tour itself runs from 2:30 to 4 p.m.

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

Follow this link for more information or to register online, or call (248) 353-0735, ext. 222, to register by phone.

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