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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Minnesota State Mankato to House an Atom Smasher

CSET to receive a donated nuclear particle accelerator.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release 7-31-2014.

Mankato, Minn. – Offering students a unique research opportunity, Minnesota State University, Mankato will soon operate a high-energy nuclear particle accelerator to be delivered Monday, Aug. 4 to the College of Science, Engineering and Technology.

Otherwise known as atom smashers, particle accelerators send nuclear particles such as protons or electrons at nearly the speed of light to collide with an atom, allowing examination of the atom’s internal parts and what holds them together.

The machine will be used across programs at the College, from chemistry to biology to electrical engineering. Valued at $1 million, the particle accelerator is being donated to the University from the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory at Duke University.

“This will place Minnesota State Mankato at the forefront of nuclear science training in the U.S., enabling the University to establish a teaching and training center for applied nuclear physics research which can be utilized by colleges throughout the country,” said Andrew Roberts, associate professor of physics.

Roberts was instrumental in obtaining the accelerator from Duke, initiating the request years ago. Duke agreed to donate the accelerator following a recent upgrade of its facilities, Roberts said.

Minnesota State Mankato will be one of a handful of such training centers in the U.S. and the only one in Minnesota, Roberts said. Obtaining the machine “builds on our success in developing a new and unique facility for training students across the many departments, particularly undergraduates, in applied nuclear techniques,” Roberts said.

For the foreseeable future, the machine when assembled will be housed in the University’s Center of Renewable Energy.

For more information, contact Andrew Roberts at 507-514-4370.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,409 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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