Moving a 50-foot-wide, 15-ton electromagnet from New York to Illinois is no easy task. Over the course of more than a month, the giant particle storage ring traveled by barge down the East Coast, around the tip of Florida, across the Gulf of Mexico and up the Mississippi. It arrived at its new home at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in the suburbs of Chicago in the wee hours of July 26, 2013.
Muon Storage Ring
The storage ring was built in Long Island's Brookhaven National Laboratory. But now it's needed at Fermilab for the Muon g-2 experiment, an investigation into muons, subatomic particles that exist for just 2.2 millionths of a second. Compared with Brookhaven, Fermilab can generate more intense and pure beam of muons. Officials have said it costs about 10 times less to move the magnet halfway across the country than it would to build a new one at Fermilab.
Truck for Muon Ring
A truck had to be carefully designed to transport the Muon g-2 ring and its red stabilizing apparatus during the land legs at the beginning and end its journey — from Brookhaven to a barge and from the barge to Fermilab.
Crane operators carefully move the ring from the specially adapted truck onto a barge at the Smith Point Marina on Long Island on June 24, 2013. The entire apparatus weighed about 50 tons.
Ready to Set Sail
Workers from Emmert International secure the Muon g-2 ring to the barge on June 24, 2013.
The Muon g-2 (gee-minus-two) physics experiment will start in 2016 and will involve 26 institutions around the world.
After making it safely down the Atlantic coast and across the Gulf of Mexico, the heavy machinery entered the interior United States. In this photo, a tugboat named Trident pulls the Muon g-2 barge into the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway north of Mobile, Alabama.
In front of St. Louis' Gateway Arch, a tugboat pushes a barge carrying the electromagnet up the Mississippi River.
Des Plaines Passage
From the Mississippi River, the electromagnet made its way up the Des Plaines River toward a port in Lemont, Ill. This picture shows the heavy load passing through Joliet, Ill.
A truck hauls the strange cargo in the early morning on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, through the suburbs of Chicago.
The particle storage ring rolls up I-355, outside of Chicago, nearing the end of its slow drive to Fermilab.