April 28, 2022
The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams at MSU is home to the world’s most powerful heavy-ion accelerator. See what makes MSU a nuclear science powerhouse.
MSU had what I wanted: a very well-known physics program and many physics-related research opportunities. The university also has advanced equipment that is used in physics labs for undergraduates, and I am always in awe of them. The opportunity at FRIB was brought to me by chance, and it is my pleasure to work there. I was able to surround myself with amazing people, and I learned a lot from them. MSU, FRIB, and Dr. Guèye have opened many doors for me. This is truly a one-of-a-kind experience.
The biggest challenge in my research is to always deal with the unknown. In research science, we are constantly trying to answer unanswered questions using the knowledge that we have. It irritates me to not know things because it makes me nervous and can be very scary. However, I persevere through it because of the support from my research group and the belief that I know what I am doing. Even though it may not deliver world-breaking results, it is helpful to those who want to continue our work.
When I am able to connect the research with what I know, I feel like a firework has set off in my heart. It is all a learning process, not only for me but also for everyone on the research team. My adviser said no one always knows what they are doing, particularly in research. That’s very reassuring.
You should take any opportunity that comes toward you, as long as you are comfortable. No opportunity is a waste of time. You never know what you might find, learn and what door is being opened for you. What seem like insignificant events can impact your life tremendously later.
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Jennifer Trenkamp, MSUToday editor