Physics of Atomic Nuclei (PAN)

PAN is a free week-long program for high school students and teachers.

It is sponsored by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics - Center for the Evolution of the Elements (JINA-CEE) which is a Physics Frontier Center funded by the National Science Foundation.

The program takes place at one of two world leading nuclear physics laboratories: Nuclear Science Laboratory located on the campus of the University of Notre Dame and the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory located on the campus of Michigan State University. Lectures and experiments are led by NSL and NSCL faculty, staff, and students. The program introduces participants to the fundamentals of the extremely small domain of atomic nuclei and its connection to the extremely large domain of astrophysics and cosmology.

We welcome U.S. students who have completed at least one year of high school to apply to both locations. We also welcome middle and high school physical science teachers in the US and Canada to apply for the teacher week of PAN at MSU.

Applications for the 2019 PAN Program have closed and we have contacted all applicants about their status

The PAN @ Notre Dame Experience (HS Students)

  • Be introduced to the fascinating fields of astrophysics, cosmology, and nuclear science through lectures and tours.
  • Perform a series of experiments using state of the art experimental equipment in Notre Dame's Jordan Hall of Science.
  • Experience the college atmosphere at a prestigious university.
  • Learn experimental techniques used by the experimental nuclear astrophysics community through the use of various gamma, neutron and charged particle detectors.
  • See previous presentations on YouTube!
  • Learn more in the PAN @ ND FAQ.

The PAN @ Michigan State Experience (HS Students and Teachers)

  • Teacher Week: July 15-19
  • Student Week: July 22-26
  • Learn about research in one of the top rare-isotope laboratories in the world.
  • Get introduced to the fascinating fields of astrophysics, cosmology, and nuclear science.
  • Perform your own nuclear physics experiments.
  • Experience the atmosphere of one of the biggest university campuses in the country.
  • The teacher experience includes nuclear science lesson plans in addition to the student experience.
  • Learn more on the PAN @ MSU FAQ page.

PAN student: "Fantastic all-around program. It's the best summer camp I've ever attended. It is a real treat to be around people who want to chat about math and science and who are smarter than I am. It is in some ways a small taste of college."

PAN student: "Learning with a group of peers interested in science the way I am was one of the best educational experiences I've had so far!"

Program Contact

Micha Kilburn, Notre Dame Contact 574-631-5326

Zach Constan, MSU Contact 517-908-7363