The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) will be a new scientific user facility for nuclear science, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC), Michigan State University (MSU), and the State of Michigan. As a scientific user facility for the DOE-SC Office of Nuclear Physics operated by MSU, FRIB will provide intense beams of rare isotopes (that is, short-lived, unstable nuclei not normally found on Earth).
Unstable (or rare) isotopes play a critical role for some of the most compelling open questions in nuclear astrophysics. JINA-CEE has begun to address many of these questions with the limited rare isotope production capabilities available today. With FRIB, most of the nuclear physics in stellar explosions finally becomes accessible to experiments on Earth. JINA-CEE plays an active role in shaping the scientific community that will ultimately take advantage of FRIB by bridging the gap between nuclear physics and astrophysics, by advancing the science, and by educating the future leaders of the field.
JINA-CEE, in collaboration with other groups, is also developing new experimental equipment that will initially be used at existing rare isotope facilities but is intended to enable FRIB experiments in the future. To that end, a FRIB astrophysics collaboration was formed within the framework of the FRIB users organization. The most important piece of FRIB equipment JINA-CEE is involved in is the Recoil Separator SECAR. Based on experience with the JINA recoil separator St. George at Notre Dame, JINA-CEE researchers at Notre Dame have designed SECAR, which is currently under construction at MSU.