The Muon G-2 Superconducting Electromagnet Journey and Its Arrival at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory In Batavia

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A giant magnet that was transported fromNew York to Illinois was 50 feet wide, weighs more than 15 tons and has taken a month to transport 3,200 miles from New York to Illinois.

The Muon g-2 superconducting electromagnet is 50 feet wide, weighs more than 15 tons and took a month to transport 3,200 miles from New York to Illinois.

The Muon g-2 team began the move on June 22, 2013 at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Long Island.

The trip involved transport by sea along the East Coast along the Atlantic Ocean, along Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, and to Mobile Bay where it entered the Tensaw River. A barge carried the electromagnet up to the TomBigBee River, to the Tennesee-Tombigbee Waterway, to the Tennesee River, to the Ohio River, to the Mississippi River at Cairo, Illinois, to the Illinois River, and to the Des Plaines River until it was transferred to a specially-designed truck at Lemont Road in Lemont, Illinois. The truck continued along I-355 and I-88 and finally to FermiLab in Batavia.

The barge “Miss Katie” pushing the muon g-2 ring upstream on the Illinois River, and passing through the Peoria Lock and Dam as it travels toward Lemont, where it was unloaded onto the special Emmert transporter and driven to Fermilab.

The huge electromagnet, escorted by the Illinois State Police and local police, navigated Illinois roadways at speeds of only 5-15 mph and ended a carefully planned journey Friday at 4:07 a.m. at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia.

Muon g-2 (pronounced gee minus two) will use Fermilab’s powerful accelerators to explore the interactions of short-lived particles known as muons with a strong magnetic field in “empty” space. Scientists know that even in a vacuum, space is never empty. Instead, it is filled with an invisible sea of virtual particles that—in accordance with the laws of quantum physics—pop in and out of existence for incredibly short moments of time. Scientists can test the presence and nature of these virtual particles with particle beams traveling in a magnetic field.

A beam of muons with aligned spins is directed into the storage ring that has a very precisely known magnetic field. As the beam goes around this storage ring, the muons’ spins wobble, or precess. Scientists measure the rate that they precess very precisely. The magnitude of that precession is directly related to the difference of g from 2, or g-2.

The world’s best muon g-2 measurement was performed by Brookhaven National Laboratory’s experiment E821, completed in 2001. To perform this measurement with sufficient precision, E821 stored a total of 100 billion muons in a large electromagnet and observed their spin precessions. To nearly everyone’s astonishment, E821’s measurement differed from the Standard Model prediction by greater than 3 standard deviations. Physicists are excited by the possibility that the discrepancy is due to previously unknown particles appearing from and disappearing back into the vacuum.

Scientists will make use of Fermilab’s new Muon Campus to study muons with greater precision than ever before.

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