Muon g-2 Installation

One year after traveling more than 3,000 miles by barge, truck and crane Fermilab’s Muon g-2 magnet is now in its permanent home.

The 50-foot-wide electromagnet was recently moved into an experiment hall specifically designed for Fermilab’s newest project.

Scientists and members of the community came to watch the final part of the big move, carefully organized by national moving company Emmert International.

“There are actually three separate rings,” said Aria Soha, Installation Manager for the Muon g-2 experiment. “They can be jostled if they are moved too quickly. So we have accelerometers that are actually mounted on the ring, in order to measure how fast it is being moved. To make sure no excessive g-forces are applied to it.”

Expected to be up and running by 2017, the Muon g-2 will study the wobble of muons, subatomic particles with a lifetime of 2.2 millionths of a second.

“We study those particles because it will help us understand the basic building blocks of nature and how particles interact at the most fundamental level,” said Chris Polly, Project Manager for the Muon g-2 experiment. “So you can think of this magnet as a giant racetrack that holds the particles as they spin around and around and we watch them.”

In June of 2013, the magnet garnered national attention when it traveled from Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York to Lemont by barge and then took three nights to drive to Batavia, closing streets and interstates along the way.

To build a new electromagnet would have cost Fermilab about $30 million, but by moving it the cost was only about $3 million.

Scientists plan to plug in and test the magnet next spring before going ahead with the project.


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