Ground Breaking Ceremony for MSU's FRIB - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Ground Breaking Ceremony for MSU's FRIB

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MSU's president welcomed Michigan Congressmen and Senators from Washington D.C., along with a number of special guests for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, or FRIB project's groundbreaking ceremony.

Lawmakers and scientists believe the facility will make East Lansing an international hub for scientific research.

"This takes us to the next step as a global leader, and research innovation. That's what it's all about," said Senator Debbie Stabenow.

Stabenow was one of Michigan's political powerhouses at the ceremony, she and others worked for years in D.C. to shore up funding for the FRIB, which totals more than 700 million dollars. The majority of FRIB funding will come from the US Department of Energy.

"You can kind of think of these as tools, if scientists want to do research there's no hardware store that they can go to, they come instead to research facilities like this," said Brad Sherrill, FRIB's chief scientist.

FRIB will provide intense beams of rare isotopes that allow researchers to examine unique reactions among particles.

Sherrill says researchers in fields from medicine to astronomy will use the FRIB's technology to study how certain elements and atoms interact –research that may shed light on how the earth was made, or possibly find methods that may cure cancer.

"The spin-offs are going to be short term and long term," said Senator Carl Levin.  

"Short term, you'll have five or six thousand jobs in the construction area. Long term beyond that, you'll have hundreds and maybe thousands of people working here, living, learning here, teaching here. [MSU] is already at the pinnacle of physics, but it will be even a higher pinnacle," said Levin.

Levin says the possibilities, in terms of scientific advancement are endless.

"Cures for diseases, we'll have new energy sources, this will add to our national security. When you're looking at matter, you will find there are certain discoveries that will help you do more with less," said Levin.

The FRIB is expected to generate $1 billion in economic activity, create five thousand temporary jobs and four hundred permanent jobs.


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