What is FRIB?
A Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) is proposed to provide intense beams of rare isotopes for a wide variety of studies in nuclear structure, nuclear astrophysics, and fundamental symmetries. This facility could impact the study of the origin of the elements and the evolution of the cosmos, and offers an opportunity for exploring the limits of nuclear existence and identifying new phenomena, with the possibility that a more broadly applicable theory of nuclei will emerge. The facility would offer new glimpses into the origin of the elements by leading to a better understanding of key issues by creating exotic nuclei that, until now, have existed only in nature’s most spectacular explosion, the supernova.
Location: Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
TPC: $478 – $550 Million
CD-0: Approved 2/9/04
The original concept of this facility, formerly referred to as the Rare Isotope Accelerator (RIA) facility, was to use a powerful superconducting driver linac to provide intense beams from protons to uranium on a variety of production targets to optimize the yield of a desired rare isotope. As part of the alternative analysis, in 2005 the Office of Nuclear Physics and the National Science Foundation (NSF) charged the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies to assess the scientific case for a rare isotope beam facility in an international context. The NRC concluded that a complementary, lower-cost, next-generation, radioactive-beam facility represents a unique opportunity to explore the nature of nuclei under conditions that only exist otherwise in supernovae and to challenge current understanding of nuclear structure. The report also concluded that the science addressed by a U.S. world-class facility for rare isotope beams, most likely based on a heavy-ion driver using a linear accelerator, should be a high priority for the United States. The Office of Nuclear Physics and NSF also charged the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC) to perform an evaluation of the scientific ‘reach’ and technical options for the development of a world-class facility in the United States for rare isotope beam studies within a constrained funding envelope, and in the context of existing and planned research capabilities world-wide. The final NSAC report states that as a result of technical advances, a world-class facility with a subset of capabilities can be built at approximately half the cost of RIA, employing a superconducting linac.
Figure 1: A schematic of the FRIB facility.
For more figures, click here.