NS3 2020 goes online

August 3-7, 2020 -  Michigan State University

NS3 is a summer school for undergraduate students that aims to introduce the participants to the field of nuclear science and nuclear astrophysics. NS3 will be hosted by Michigan State University (MSU) and will offer lectures and activities covering selected nuclear science and astrophysics topics. Given the COVID-19 situation, the 2020 NS3 summer shool will be held online in a customized format.

Nuclear Science and nuclear astrophysics are exciting fields that address important questions such as:

  • How where the nuclei we find on earth created?
  • How do nuclei interact with each other and undergo reactions that fuel stars and provide us with energy?
  • What are the forces that keep nucleons together in nuclei?
  • What are the properties of unstable nuclei and how can we use these properties to benefit society?

At FRIB/NSCL all these questions are investigated through the study of unstable nuclei, which often have a large excess of protons or neutrons compared to the well-known stable isotopes. These very short-lived nuclei are presently produced by the Coupled Cyclotron Facility and are delivered to the experimental areas to study their properties or even determine their existence for the first time. In the future, much more intense beams will be provided by the FRIB accelerator. Theorists help interpret experimental data and develop theories that describe and predict the properties of atomic nuclei and how they react in collisions with other nuclei in the laboratory and in stars. Astrophysical modelers use the data and theories to simulate astrophysical phenomena. Often, the theorists, experimentalists, and modelers work closely together to achieve common goals. 


In the 2020 NS3, participants will:

1) Be introduced to basic nuclear science and nuclear astrophysics concepts through dedicated lectures and collaborative activities

2) Learn about current research topics and open questions in nuclear science

3) Meet with peers who are equally excited about research in nuclear science and nuclear astrophysics!


As applications for the usual NS3 summer school were already requested prior to COVID-19 situation, candidates who have indicated they are interested in joining the online version of the school will soon be requested to confirm participation, as long as their original application met the basic requirements for the usual school: Physics & Chemistry Majors at US institutions who are at least 18 years of age at the time of the school. Prerequisites are Calculus, Introductory Physics I (Mechanics and Waves), Introductory Physics II (Electricity, Magnetism, Optics) and Modern Physics (or equivalent coursework).


Participation in the 2020 online version of NS3 is free.

Important Dates

We will soon contact applicants who have indicated they would like to participate in the online version of the school for final confirmation to attend the online version of the school August 3-7. Each day of that week will involve a 3-hour slot from 11 am – 2 pm.


For questions about the school and/or the application process please write to: ns3@nscl.msu.edu

School Advisory Committee

  • Artemis Spyrou
  • Hendrik Schatz
  • Fernando Montes
  • Chris Wrede

Organizing Committee

  • Andrea Richard
  • Daniel Puentes
  • Zach Constan
  • Tabitha Pinkney
  • Remco Zegers (chair)