Following is the charge to the Rare-Isotope Science Assessment Committee from the National Research Council’s Board on Physics and Astronomy, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation:
The committee will define a scientific agenda for a U.S. domestic rare-isotope facility, taking into account current government plans. In preparing its report, the committee will address the role that such a facility could play in the future of nuclear physics, considering the field broadly, but placing emphasis on its potential scientific impact on nuclear structure, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental symmetries, stockpile stewardship and other national security areas, and future availability of scientific and technical personnel. The need for such a facility will be addressed in the context of international efforts in this area.
In particular, the committee will address the following questions:
What science should be addressed by a rare-isotope facility and what is its importance in the overall context of research in nuclear physics and physics in general?
What are the capabilities of other facilities, existing and planned, domestic and abroad, to address the science agenda? What scientific role could be played by a domestic rare-isotope facility that is complementary to existing and planned facilities at home and elsewhere?
What are the benefits to other fields of science and to society of establishing such a facility in the United States?