MSU celebrates 50 years since cyclotron beam

Photo courtesy of Michigan State University

EAST LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Fifty years ago MSU built the first cyclotron, a device which has shaped the world of nuclear physics, producing a precise beam of protons for study.

The K50 cyclotron soon evolved into the more-powerful K500 and K1200.

Today, in the same spot where researchers built the first cyclotron, MSU is constructing the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams.

The facility is a 3/4 billion dollar build and is expected to be one of the best isotope research centers in the world, producing twice as many rare isotopes as there are now

“Researchers live for making discoveries and building a tool that’s more powerful than any other ones is most exciting because the payoff is when it operates and you can do things that nobody else can do and discover things that nobody else can discover,” said

Former directors say FRIB is a dream that has become a reality, after decades of research.

Christa Lamendola has a look at the past and how it’s helped make MSU the no. 1 in graduate nuclear physics programs, ranked by U.S. News and World Report since 2010.

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