After a decades-long wait, a US$942 million accelerator in Michigan is officially inaugurating on 2 May. Its experiments will chart unexplored regions of the landscape of exotic atomic nuclei and shed light on how stars and supernova explosions create most of the elements in the Universe. The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) at Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing had a budget of $730 million, most of it funded by the US Department of Energy, with a $94.5 million contribution from the state of Michigan. MSU contributed an additional $212 million in various ways, including the land. It replaces an earlier National Science Foundation accelerator, called the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL), at the same site. Construction of FRIB started in 2014 and was completed late last year, “five months early and on budget”, says nuclear physicist Bradley Sherrill, who is FRIB’s science director.
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