Brad Sherrill, FRIB Chief Scientist, was one of six Michigan State University researchers who earned recognition from their peers nationwide by being named a AAAS Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Sherrill was recognized for innovative advances in tools for the production and separation of rare isotopes that give scientists access to designer nuclei with characteristics that can be adjusted to the researcher’s need.
For production of new isotopes, the approach that Sherrill has helped develop is called in-flight separation. This is where a heavy ion, such as a uranium nucleus, is bro¬ken up at high energy. This produces a cocktail beam of fragments that are filtered by a downstream system of magnets called a fragment separator. The efficiency of this technique can be nearly 100 percent and Sherrill’s research has helped allow scientists to be able to identify a single ion out of 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 other particles.
Sherrill’s research using rare isotopes has spanned a range of topics from identification of new nuclides to measurement of nuclear properties that are important for modeling astrophysical environments.
Election as a Fellow of AAAS is an honor bestowed upon members by their peers. Fellows are recognized for meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications. Nominations are made by the members themselves and vetted by steering groups before being presented to the AAAS Council for final approval.