MSU's New F-RIB Project Getting National Attention - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

MSU's New F-RIB Project Getting National Attention

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EAST LANSING, MI (WLNS) - Michigan State University's facility for Rare Isotope Beams is getting national attention.

F-RIB is included in President Obama's federal budget.

But what exactly is F-RIB?

6 News spoke to the Chief Scientist at MSU who explains the project and what it means for mid-Michigan.

We know scientists, including physics professor Chris Wrede care about F-RIB.

"Knowing that F-RIB was going to be here, is one of the things that drew me here to move to Michigan in the first place," said Chris Wrede. "This is all about our origins."

Nature is full of elements - gold, aluminum, calcium and they come in all different forms, called isotopes.

"A rare isotope is a form of an element that we don't normally find in nature."

F-RIB is about creating these rare isotopes.

"If you ever wanted to know how to stop an atom from moving at half the speed of light, this is the answer, this is one small example of the kind of pieces that go inside F-RIB."

But we still don't know the answer to why this matters. One reason is researchers can send rare isotopes into a person's body to diagnose disease.

"You look where the rare isotope collects in the body to figure out where it localized, and then figure out where the cancer might be in the person."

And on an even larger scale, "it's a fascinating question of 'where did we come from?'"

Rare isotopes are created when stars explode, so scientists want to see how they eventually turned into the elements we see on Earth today, using the F-RIB.

The F-RIB should be completed by 2022, but scientists are already coming from around the nation to use MSU's exclusive equipment.

By Sari Soffer, 6 News Intern

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