While you are here

If you are the Spokesperson of an experiment at NSCL, you should take care of the following items prior to arrival to perform the experiment:

  • Notified the Manager for User Relations of your arrival, so that arrangements can be made to provide the best possible support for your experiment.

General Visitor information

Parking, Parking Permit, and Access Keys

Outside users arriving by car should park in the Shaw Parking ramp, which is north of NSCL/FRIB directly across Shaw Lane.  Do not park in a metered or leased space.  Obtain a parking pass from the receptionist for either 24 hours or 1 week.  Note: parking in the Shaw ramp is free (with no pass needed) overnight from 6 pm – 7 am and on the weekend.

For entry into NSCL when you first arrive, please go to the main (west) entrance of the building. If you arrive during normal business hours, the doors will be open; identify yourself to the receptionist as a user and request to see the Manager for User Relations. If after hours, please use the phone located between the outer and inner doors to call the Operator at 305; and, if (s)he is not at that number, page him/her by dialing 143. Or you can use your cell phone to call the Cyclotron Console at (517)908-7305.

If you are staying at Kellogg Center, please note that Kellogg will provide free transportation between the hotel and NSCL, if arrangements are made in advance with the hotel.

Outside users will need NSCL access cards to enter NSCL and work in radiation-restricted areas of the laboratory. For more details, please refer to the Responsibilities of Experimenters 

Visitor Laptops: How to Connect to the Network

All outside user laptops are required to either use the university provided wireless network or the designated "Public-net" network ports in the Data U areas.
Guest access to Michigan State University's wireless network is available throughout the laboratory. Please see MSU Wireless Support for more information. If you need further assistance once on-site, please contact the help room at extension 407.
The Data U area "Public-net" switches provide 10/100 Mb connectivity to the internet for laptops that do not use the wireless network.

Status Meetings for Experimenters

There are two short meetings that take place each day to provide information to experimenters regarding the status of the facility.  At least one person from the experimental collaboration should attend each meeting to give a brief statement on the status of the experiment.  The first meeting occurs at 8 AM in the 1200 Lecture Hall and the second meeting occurs at 1:45 PM in the atrium.

List of Area Hotels

NSCL has special arrangements with several hotels to provide rooms at reduced rates for NSCL users and visitors, including visitors who pay their own expenses.

Safety Training

All NSCL users are required to take an on-line site-specific safety training, with an annual refresher, prior to working in the experimental vaults. The Manager for User Relations will arrange the on-line session for members of your group who require it. One member of your group must be designated "Safety Representative" and will be responsible for handling targets, radioactive sources, and other safety issues.

Personal Dosimeter

The receptionist will issue a personal dosimeter to each member of your group. You must wear the dosimeter at all times when you are in the laboratory. Please remember to return it to the Manager for User Relations when you leave.

Telephones, Fax, and EMail

The main telephone number for the laboratory is 517-355-9671. A receptionist will be at this number during normal work hours in the Eastern Time Zone. The telephone number for the Data-U's is 517-908-711x (where x=1 to 6 for each Data-U). East Lansing is in the Eastern Time zone.

Long distance telephone calls are a major NSCL expense. Users should follow the guidelines below:

  • Long distance calls should be exclusively for laboratory-related business (this is both NSCL and University policy). If you need to make a personal long distance call, you should either use a calling card or arrange to have the call charged to your home phone.
  • When you make a long distance call from an NSCL phone, try to limit it to the time necessary to accomplish your goal.
  • Use alternative communication mediums such as electronic mail, fax, or the U.S. mail service when possible. As mentioned in section 3, there are public desktop computers in Room 108 (near the first floor lecture hall) that can be used to send e-mail messages. The fax number for the NSCL is 517-353-5967. The fax machine is located in the Room 114 copy room. Long-distance personal faxes must be charged to your own calling card.

To make telephone calls:

To call someone in the lab dial the last three digits of their phone number
To page someone in the lab Dial 143, announce your message, hang up phone
To page someone from outside the lab    Dial 355-9672 X 143, announce message, hang up
To dial an on-campus number must dial 9, then 5 digit number (EXAMPLE: 9-5-9671)
To dial an off-campus number dial 8, then regular phone number (EXAMPLE: 8-655-7203)
To dial an off-campus long distance number   dial 8, 1 or 0, area code, regular phone number (EXAMPLE:
8-1-517-655-7203) (1 for direct dial, 0 for operator assist.)
Fax number (517) 353-5967

Experimental Accounts on the NSCL Computers

For data acquisition, you will typically log in to one or more Linux and Windows machines located in the Data U's and the experimental vaults. Prior to your arrival, two accounts would have been established for your experiment, one on the Linux data acquisition cluster and one on the Windows system. Both accounts would have the same username and the same password. A stage area for event data will not be assigned until about a week before the experiment starts, and it must be requested by sending e-mail to helpme@nscl.msu.edu. To log in, supply:

  • your 6-digit username: "e" followed by the 5-digit experiment number, and
  • the initial password, which will be given to you by the Manager for User Relations.

When you first log in, you should change your password on both accounts. On the Windows account, you will be prompted to do this. On the Linux account, to change the password, type yppasswd and follow the instructions.

Seating Space

There is an Outside User Area on the Fourth Floor of the East office tower. There is wireless internet access in the User Area. You can reserve any of the unoccupied cubicles for your use during your visit by notifying the Manager for User Relations.


There are lockers User Area. If you would like a locker during your stay, please see the Manager for User Relations for a key.


The Manager for User Relations is responsible for:

  • Coordination with users regarding experimental set-up.
  • Coordination with users during experiment to ensure efficient use of accelerator time.

For detailed information on a particular experimental device, please refer to the Technical Information about Experimental Devices page.

Operator Assistance During Your Experiment

The role of the Operator-in-Charge is described here.

Dining on Campus

The nearest place for food is the Owen Hall cafeteria, just three minutes' walk from NSCL. Owen Hall is located diagonally across from the traffic circle just east of NSCL. For hours and menu, please visit Eat at State.

There are many additional options within walking distance in East Lansing.

Campus Information

Campus information is available at the Michigan State University website.

Exercise Facilities on Campus

You can exercise at the IM Sports East Building, located just to the east of NSCL on Shaw Lane. It is necessary to have MSU ID to use the IM facilities. If you wish to avail of them, the procedure is:

  1. Get a letter stating your visitor status from the Manager for User Relations.
  2. Take the letter to Room 201 of the IM West Building (about 1 mile west of NSCL).
  3. Get an ID card valid for the duration of your visit for a nominal charge ($5).
  4. Use the card at the IM East facility or any of the other IM facilities.