Fermilab

Fermilab

Overview
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia
Batavia, Illinois
Batavia was founded in 1833, and is the oldest city in Kane County, Illinois, with a small portion in DuPage County. During the Industrial Revolution, Batavia became known as ‘The Windmill City’ for being the largest windmill producer of the time...

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, near Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, is a US Department of Energy
United States Department of Energy
The United States Department of Energy is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government concerned with the United States' policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material...

 national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics
Particle physics
Particle physics is a branch of physics that studies the existence and interactions of particles that are the constituents of what is usually referred to as matter or radiation. In current understanding, particles are excitations of quantum fields and interact following their dynamics...

. As of January 1, 2007, Fermilab is operated by the Fermi Research Alliance, a joint venture of the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

, Illinois Institute of Technology
Illinois Institute of Technology
Illinois Institute of Technology, commonly called Illinois Tech or IIT, is a private Ph.D.-granting university located in Chicago, Illinois, with programs in engineering, science, psychology, architecture, business, communications, industrial technology, information technology, design, and law...

 and the Universities Research Association
Universities Research Association
The Universities Research Association, Inc. is a consortium of 87 leading research oriented universities, primarily in the United States, with members in Canada, Japan, and Italy. It is based in Washington, D.C.- History and purpose :...

 (URA). Fermilab is a part of the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor
Illinois Technology and Research Corridor
The Illinois Technology and Research Corridor is a region of commerce and industry located along Interstate 88 in the Chicago metropolitan area, primarily in DuPage, Kane, and DeKalb Counties...

.

Fermilab's Tevatron
Tevatron
The Tevatron is a circular particle accelerator in the United States, at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory , just east of Batavia, Illinois, and is the second highest energy particle collider in the world after the Large Hadron Collider...

 was a landmark particle accelerator
Particle accelerator
A particle accelerator is a device that uses electromagnetic fields to propel charged particles to high speeds and to contain them in well-defined beams. An ordinary CRT television set is a simple form of accelerator. There are two basic types: electrostatic and oscillating field accelerators.In...

; at 3.9 miles (6.3 km) in circumference, it was the world's second largest energy particle accelerator (CERN
CERN
The European Organization for Nuclear Research , known as CERN , is an international organization whose purpose is to operate the world's largest particle physics laboratory, which is situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border...

's Large Hadron Collider
Large Hadron Collider
The Large Hadron Collider is the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. It is expected to address some of the most fundamental questions of physics, advancing the understanding of the deepest laws of nature....

 is 27 km in circumference), until being shut down on September 30, 2011.
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Encyclopedia
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia
Batavia, Illinois
Batavia was founded in 1833, and is the oldest city in Kane County, Illinois, with a small portion in DuPage County. During the Industrial Revolution, Batavia became known as ‘The Windmill City’ for being the largest windmill producer of the time...

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, near Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, is a US Department of Energy
United States Department of Energy
The United States Department of Energy is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government concerned with the United States' policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material...

 national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics
Particle physics
Particle physics is a branch of physics that studies the existence and interactions of particles that are the constituents of what is usually referred to as matter or radiation. In current understanding, particles are excitations of quantum fields and interact following their dynamics...

. As of January 1, 2007, Fermilab is operated by the Fermi Research Alliance, a joint venture of the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

, Illinois Institute of Technology
Illinois Institute of Technology
Illinois Institute of Technology, commonly called Illinois Tech or IIT, is a private Ph.D.-granting university located in Chicago, Illinois, with programs in engineering, science, psychology, architecture, business, communications, industrial technology, information technology, design, and law...

 and the Universities Research Association
Universities Research Association
The Universities Research Association, Inc. is a consortium of 87 leading research oriented universities, primarily in the United States, with members in Canada, Japan, and Italy. It is based in Washington, D.C.- History and purpose :...

 (URA). Fermilab is a part of the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor
Illinois Technology and Research Corridor
The Illinois Technology and Research Corridor is a region of commerce and industry located along Interstate 88 in the Chicago metropolitan area, primarily in DuPage, Kane, and DeKalb Counties...

.

Fermilab's Tevatron
Tevatron
The Tevatron is a circular particle accelerator in the United States, at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory , just east of Batavia, Illinois, and is the second highest energy particle collider in the world after the Large Hadron Collider...

 was a landmark particle accelerator
Particle accelerator
A particle accelerator is a device that uses electromagnetic fields to propel charged particles to high speeds and to contain them in well-defined beams. An ordinary CRT television set is a simple form of accelerator. There are two basic types: electrostatic and oscillating field accelerators.In...

; at 3.9 miles (6.3 km) in circumference, it was the world's second largest energy particle accelerator (CERN
CERN
The European Organization for Nuclear Research , known as CERN , is an international organization whose purpose is to operate the world's largest particle physics laboratory, which is situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border...

's Large Hadron Collider
Large Hadron Collider
The Large Hadron Collider is the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. It is expected to address some of the most fundamental questions of physics, advancing the understanding of the deepest laws of nature....

 is 27 km in circumference), until being shut down on September 30, 2011. In 1995, both the CDF
Collider Detector at Fermilab
The Collider Detector at Fermilab experimental collaboration studies high energy particle collisions at the Tevatron,the world's former highest-energy particle accelerator...

 and DØ (detectors which utilize the Tevatron) experiments announced the discovery of the top quark
Top quark
The top quark, also known as the t quark or truth quark, is an elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter. Like all quarks, the top quark is an elementary fermion with spin-, and experiences all four fundamental interactions: gravitation, electromagnetism, weak interactions, and...

.

In addition to high energy collider physics, Fermilab is also host to a number of smaller fixed-target and neutrino
Neutrino
A neutrino is an electrically neutral, weakly interacting elementary subatomic particle with a half-integer spin, chirality and a disputed but small non-zero mass. It is able to pass through ordinary matter almost unaffected...

 experiments, such as MiniBooNE
MiniBooNE
MiniBooNE is an experiment at Fermilab designed to observe neutrino oscillations . A neutrino beam consisting primarily of muon neutrinos is directed at a detector filled with 800 tons of mineral oil and lined with 1,280 photomultiplier tubes...

 (Mini Booster Neutrino Experiment), SciBooNE
Sciboone
SciBar Booster Neutrino Experiment , is a neutrino experiment located at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in the USA....

 (SciBar Booster Neutrino Experiment) and MINOS
MINOS
MINOS is a particle physics experiment designed to study the phenomena of neutrino oscillations, first discovered by a Super-Kamiokande experiment in 1998...

 (Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search). The MiniBooNE detector is a 40 feet (12.2 m) diameter sphere which contains 800 tons of mineral oil lined with 1520 individual phototube detectors
Photomultiplier
Photomultiplier tubes , members of the class of vacuum tubes, and more specifically phototubes, are extremely sensitive detectors of light in the ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum...

. An estimated 1 million neutrino events are recorded each year. SciBooNE is the newest neutrino experiment at Fermilab; it sits in the same neutrino beam as MiniBooNE but has fine-grained tracking capabilities. The MINOS experiment uses Fermilab's NuMI
NuMI
Neutrinos at the Main Injector, or NuMI, is a project at Fermilab which creates an intense beam of neutrinos aimed towards the Soudan Mine for use by several particle physics experiments. , the MINOS and MINERνA experiments use the NuMI beam...

 (Neutrinos at the Main Injector) beam, which is an intense beam of neutrinos that travels 455 miles (732.2 km) through the Earth to the Soudan Mine in Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

.

In the public realm, Fermilab is host to many cultural events, not only public science lectures and symposia, but classical and contemporary music concerts, folk dancing and arts galleries. Currently the site is open to all visitors from dawn to dusk who present valid photo identification
Photo identification
Photo identification is generally used to define any form of identity document that includes a photograph of the holder.Some countries use a government issued card as a proof of age or citizenship.Types of photo ID cards include:*Passports...

.

A small herd of American bison
American Bison
The American bison , also commonly known as the American buffalo, is a North American species of bison that once roamed the grasslands of North America in massive herds...

, started at the lab's founding, lives on the grounds symbolizing Fermilab's presence on the frontier of physics and its connection to the American prairie. Some fearful locals believed at first that the bison were introduced in order to serve as an alarm if and when radiation at the laboratory reached dangerous levels, but they were assured by Fermilab that this claim had no merit.

Asteroid 11998 Fermilab
11998 Fermilab
11998 Fermilab is a main-belt asteroid discovered on January 12, 1996 by Spacewatch at Kitt Peak. The asteroid is named after the Fermilab particle accelerator in Batavia, IL.- External links :*...

 is named in honor of the laboratory.

History



Weston, Illinois was a community next to Batavia
Batavia, Illinois
Batavia was founded in 1833, and is the oldest city in Kane County, Illinois, with a small portion in DuPage County. During the Industrial Revolution, Batavia became known as ‘The Windmill City’ for being the largest windmill producer of the time...

 voted out of existence by its village board in 1966 to provide a site for Fermilab.

The laboratory was founded in 1967 as the National Accelerator Laboratory; it was renamed in honor of Enrico Fermi
Enrico Fermi
Enrico Fermi was an Italian-born, naturalized American physicist particularly known for his work on the development of the first nuclear reactor, Chicago Pile-1, and for his contributions to the development of quantum theory, nuclear and particle physics, and statistical mechanics...

 in 1974. The lab's first director was Robert Rathbun Wilson. Many of the unique sculptures on the site are of his creation. He is attributed as being responsible for it being finished ahead of time and under budget. The high rise laboratory building located on the site, the unique shape of which has become the symbol for Fermilab, is named in his honor, and is the center of activity on the campus.

After Wilson stepped down in 1978 to protest the lack of funding for the lab, Leon M. Lederman
Leon M. Lederman
Leon Max Lederman is an American experimental physicist and Nobel Prize in Physics laureate for his work with neutrinos. He is Director Emeritus of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, USA...

 took on the job. It was under his guidance that the original accelerator was replaced with the Tevatron accelerator, an accelerator capable of colliding proton
Proton
The proton is a subatomic particle with the symbol or and a positive electric charge of 1 elementary charge. One or more protons are present in the nucleus of each atom, along with neutrons. The number of protons in each atom is its atomic number....

 and an antiproton
Antiproton
The antiproton is the antiparticle of the proton. Antiprotons are stable, but they are typically short-lived since any collision with a proton will cause both particles to be annihilated in a burst of energy....

 at a combined energy of 1.96 TeV. Lederman stepped down in 1988 and remains Director Emeritus. The on-site science education center was named in his honor.

From 1988 to 1998, the lab was run by John Peoples. From that time until June 30, 2005, the lab was run by Michael S. Witherell. On November 19, 2004 Piermaria Oddone
Piermaria Oddone
Piermaria J Oddone is a Peruvian-American particle physicist.Born in Peru, Oddone earned his bachelor's degree in Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1965 and a PhD in Physics from Princeton University in 1970....

, formerly of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory , is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory conducting unclassified scientific research. It is located on the grounds of the University of California, Berkeley, in the Berkeley Hills above the central campus...

 in California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, was announced as Fermilab's newest director. Oddone began his term as director July 1, 2005.

Fermilab continues to participate in the work in the LHC including serving as a Tier 1 site in the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid.

Accelerators


The first stage in the acceleration process takes place in the Cockcroft–Walton generator. It involves taking hydrogen
Hydrogen
Hydrogen is the chemical element with atomic number 1. It is represented by the symbol H. With an average atomic weight of , hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant chemical element, constituting roughly 75% of the Universe's chemical elemental mass. Stars in the main sequence are mainly...

 gas and turning it into H ions by introducing it into a container lined with molybdenum electrodes: a matchbox-sized, oval-shaped cathode and a surrounding anode, separated by 1 mm and held in place by glass ceramic insulators. A magnetron is used to generate a plasma to form H near the metal surface. A 750 keV
Kev
Kev can refer to:*Kev Hawkins, a fictional character.*Kevin, a given name occasionally shortened to "Kev".*Kiloelectronvolt, a unit of energy who symbol is "KeV".* Krefelder Eislauf-VereinKEV can refer to:...

 electrostatic field is applied by the Cockcroft–Walton generator, and the ions are accelerated out of the container. The next step is the linear accelerator (or linac), which accelerates the particles to 400 MeV
MEV
MeV and meV are multiples and submultiples of the electron volt unit referring to 1,000,000 eV and 0.001 eV, respectively.Mev or MEV may refer to:In entertainment:* Musica Elettronica Viva, an Italian musical group...

, or about 70% of the speed of light
Speed of light
The speed of light in vacuum, usually denoted by c, is a physical constant important in many areas of physics. Its value is 299,792,458 metres per second, a figure that is exact since the length of the metre is defined from this constant and the international standard for time...

. Right before entering the next accelerator, the H ions pass through a carbon foil, becoming H+ ions (proton
Proton
The proton is a subatomic particle with the symbol or and a positive electric charge of 1 elementary charge. One or more protons are present in the nucleus of each atom, along with neutrons. The number of protons in each atom is its atomic number....

s).

The next step is the booster ring. The booster ring is a 468 m circumference circular accelerator that uses magnets to bend beams of protons in a circular path. The protons coming from the Linac travel around the Booster about 20,000 times in 33 milliseconds so that they repeatedly experience electric fields. With each revolution the protons pick up more energy, leaving the Booster with 8 GeV
GEV
GEV or GeV may stand for:*GeV or gigaelectronvolt, a unit of energy equal to billion electron volts*GEV or Grid Enabled Vehicle that is fully or partially powered by the electric grid, see plug-in electric vehicle...

. The Main Injector is the next link in the accelerator chain. Completed in 1999, it has become Fermilab's "particle switchyard" with three functions: it accelerates protons, it delivers protons for antiproton
Antiproton
The antiproton is the antiparticle of the proton. Antiprotons are stable, but they are typically short-lived since any collision with a proton will cause both particles to be annihilated in a burst of energy....

 production, and it accelerates antiprotons coming from the antiproton source. The final accelerator is the Tevatron
Tevatron
The Tevatron is a circular particle accelerator in the United States, at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory , just east of Batavia, Illinois, and is the second highest energy particle collider in the world after the Large Hadron Collider...

. It is the second most powerful particle accelerator in the world (CERN
CERN
The European Organization for Nuclear Research , known as CERN , is an international organization whose purpose is to operate the world's largest particle physics laboratory, which is situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border...

's Large Hadron Collider
Large Hadron Collider
The Large Hadron Collider is the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. It is expected to address some of the most fundamental questions of physics, advancing the understanding of the deepest laws of nature....

 being the most powerful). Traveling at almost the speed of light, protons and antiprotons circle the Tevatron in opposite directions. Physicists coordinate the beams so that they collide at the centers of two 5,000-ton detectors DØ and CDF
Collider Detector at Fermilab
The Collider Detector at Fermilab experimental collaboration studies high energy particle collisions at the Tevatron,the world's former highest-energy particle accelerator...

 inside the Tevatron tunnel at energies of 1.96 TeV
TEV
TEV may refer to:* TeV, or teraelectronvolt, a measure of energy* Total Enterprise Value, a financial measure* Total Economic Value, an economic measure* Tobacco etch virus, a plant pathogenic virus of the family Potyviridae....

, revealing the conditions of matter in the early universe and its structure at the smallest scale.

Experiments

  • Holometer
    Holometer
    The Fermilab Holometer in Illinois is currently under construction and will be the world's most sensitive laser interferometer when complete, surpassing the sensitivity of the GEO600 and LIGO systems, and theoretically able to detect holographic fluctuations in spacetime.The Holometer may be...

     interferometer
  • Tevatron
    Tevatron
    The Tevatron is a circular particle accelerator in the United States, at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory , just east of Batavia, Illinois, and is the second highest energy particle collider in the world after the Large Hadron Collider...

     proton-antiproton collider: DØ and Collider Detector at Fermilab
    Collider Detector at Fermilab
    The Collider Detector at Fermilab experimental collaboration studies high energy particle collisions at the Tevatron,the world's former highest-energy particle accelerator...

  • MiniBooNE
    MiniBooNE
    MiniBooNE is an experiment at Fermilab designed to observe neutrino oscillations . A neutrino beam consisting primarily of muon neutrinos is directed at a detector filled with 800 tons of mineral oil and lined with 1,280 photomultiplier tubes...

    : Mini Booster Neutrino Experiment
  • Sciboone
    Sciboone
    SciBar Booster Neutrino Experiment , is a neutrino experiment located at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in the USA....

    : SciBar Booster Neutrino Experiment
  • MINOS
    MINOS
    MINOS is a particle physics experiment designed to study the phenomena of neutrino oscillations, first discovered by a Super-Kamiokande experiment in 1998...

    : Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search
  • MINERνA: Main INjector ExpeRiment with νs on As
  • NOνA: NuMI Off-axis νe Appearance
  • MIPP: Main Injector Particle Production

Architecture


Dr. Wilson maintained an influence over design and construction such that the aesthetic complexion of the site would not be diluted by a collection of concrete block buildings. The design of the administrative building (Wilson Hall) harks back to St. Pierre's Cathedral in Beauvais
Beauvais
Beauvais is a city approximately by highway north of central Paris, in the northern French region of Picardie. It currently has a population of over 60,000 inhabitants.- History :...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, and several of the buildings and sculptures within the Fermilab reservation represent various mathematical constructs as part of their structure.

The Archimedean Spiral
Archimedean spiral
The Archimedean spiral is a spiral named after the 3rd century BC Greek mathematician Archimedes. It is the locus of points corresponding to the locations over time of a point moving away from a fixed point with a constant speed along a line which rotates with constant angular velocity...

 is the defining shape of several pumping station
Pumping station
Pumping stations are facilities including pumps and equipment for pumping fluids from one place to another. They are used for a variety of infrastructure systems, such as the supply of water to canals, the drainage of low-lying land, and the removal of sewage to processing sites.A pumping station...

s as well as the building housing the MINOS experiment. The reflecting pond at Wilson Hall also showcases a 32 feet (9.8 m) hyperbolic
Hyperbola
In mathematics a hyperbola is a curve, specifically a smooth curve that lies in a plane, which can be defined either by its geometric properties or by the kinds of equations for which it is the solution set. A hyperbola has two pieces, called connected components or branches, which are mirror...

 obelisk, designed by Dr. Wilson. Some of the high voltage transmission line
Transmission line
In communications and electronic engineering, a transmission line is a specialized cable designed to carry alternating current of radio frequency, that is, currents with a frequency high enough that its wave nature must be taken into account...

s carrying power through the laboratory's land are built to echo the Greek letter π
Pi
' is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter. is approximately equal to 3.14. Many formulae in mathematics, science, and engineering involve , which makes it one of the most important mathematical constants...

. One can also find structural examples of the DNA
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

 double-helix spiral and a nod to the geodesic sphere.

Several large pieces of sculpture found on Fermilab and designed by Wilson include Tractricious, a free-standing arrangement of steel tubes near the Industrial Complex constructed from parts and materials recycled from the Tevatron collider, and the soaring Broken Symmetry, which greets those entering the campus via the Pine Street entrance. Crowning the Ramsey Auditorium is a representation of the Möbius strip
Möbius strip
The Möbius strip or Möbius band is a surface with only one side and only one boundary component. The Möbius strip has the mathematical property of being non-orientable. It can be realized as a ruled surface...

 with a diameter of more than eight feet. Also scattered about the access roads and village are a massive hydraulic press and old magnetic containment channels, all painted blue.

Gender issues at Fermilab


Fermilab won the 2006 Golden Family Award from the Society of Women Engineers
Society of Women Engineers
The Society of Women Engineers , founded in 1950, is a not-for-profit educational and service organization. SWE is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in those aspirations and be recognized for...

. Fermilab offers equal employment; women represent more than 40% of the work force. Golden Family Award stated, "For outstanding support of family issues your facilities, your benefits, your programs, and your approach encourage balance for employees and their families [...]".

There have been two purported cases of gender bias in the Fermilab workplace: the separate federal lawsuits filed by Katharine Weber and Irene Hofmann. Both formerly worked at Fermilab, and both alleged they were retaliated against after complaining of repeated episodes of sexual harassment and discrimination to the Fermilab Equity Office. A summary judgment was granted in favor of URA on both of Weber's claims. Weber filed an appeal at the end of April, 2008 and the case is still ongoing. In 2008 a statistical study suggested gender inequities in conference presentations allocated by the laboratory to postdoctoral research scientists based at Fermilab.

The end of the Tevatron Run


On January 10, 2011 it was announced that the Tevatron Accelerator had failed to find additional funding to continue operation beyond the close of fiscal year 2011 (September 2011).
The Tevatron was shut down on September 30, 2011.

Financial situation


The Fermilab budget has been continuously below inflation over the last several years, and Fermilab failed to attract more funding sources and this resulted in reducing staff levels (by 100 in 2005). The new director of the lab and the new management are working hard to bring the International Linear Collider
International Linear Collider
The International Linear Collider is a proposed linear particle accelerator. It is planned to have a collision energy of 500 GeV initially, and, if approved after the project has published its Technical Design Report, planned for 2012, could be completed in the late 2010s. A later upgrade to 1000...

 (ILC) to Fermilab. However, the decision by Congress to fund the ILC at only a quarter of the requested $60 million significantly reduces the chances that Fermilab or any other U.S. research facility will host the ILC. Due to Fermilab's financial situation, on December 20, 2007, director Piermaria Oddone announced the planned layoffs of 10% of Fermilab's staff.

New management


On November 1, 2006, the Department of Energy announced that the Fermi Research Alliance, LLC (FRA) will manage Fermilab for five years starting January 1, 2007. The FRA is a partnership between URA and the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

. Based on its performance, the FRA may be entitled to renew this contract without competition for up to 20 years.

CERN


Although Fermilab will continue to play an important role in the future of physics, the Tevatron is no longer the highest-energy collider in the world. On Nov 30, 2009 CERN
CERN
The European Organization for Nuclear Research , known as CERN , is an international organization whose purpose is to operate the world's largest particle physics laboratory, which is situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border...

's LHC
Large Hadron Collider
The Large Hadron Collider is the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. It is expected to address some of the most fundamental questions of physics, advancing the understanding of the deepest laws of nature....

 circulated protons at an energy of 1.18 TeV per beam, beating the Tevatron's previous record of 0.98 TeV per beam held for 8 years. The LHC has reached 3.5 TeV per beam in 2010.

New particle discovery


It was announced on September 3, 2008 that a new particle, the bottom Omega baryon  was discovered at the DØ experiment of Fermilab. It is made up of two strange quark
Strange quark
The strange quark or s quark is the third-lightest of all quarks, a type of elementary particle. Strange quarks are found in hadrons, which are subatomic particles. Example of hadrons containing strange quarks include kaons , strange D mesons , Sigma baryons , and other strange particles...

s and a bottom quark
Bottom quark
The bottom quark, also known as the beauty quark, is a third-generation quark with a charge of − e. Although all quarks are described in a similar way by the quantum chromodynamics, the bottom quark's large bare mass , combined with low values of the CKM matrix elements Vub and Vcb, gives it a...

. This discovery not only helps to complete the "periodic table of the baryons" but also offers insight into how quarks form matter.

Coded letter


On March 5, 2007 the Fermilab Office of Public Affairs received a curious letter written in code. On May 15, 2008, in an effort to crowdsource a solution, the letter was released to the public. Within a short period of time, the top and bottom sections of the letter were decoded. To date, a solution to the middle section has not been found.

Bison at Fermilab


Fermilab's first director, Robert Wilson brought five American Bison, a bull and four cows in 1967. They were joined by an additional 21 provided by the Illinois Department of Conservation. Today, a herd of bison roams the campus. The herd is a popular attraction which draws many visitors.

See also

  • CERN
    CERN
    The European Organization for Nuclear Research , known as CERN , is an international organization whose purpose is to operate the world's largest particle physics laboratory, which is situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border...

  • Fermi Linux LTS
  • Scientific Linux
    Scientific Linux
    Scientific Linux is a Linux distribution produced by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the European Organization for Nuclear Research...

  • SLAC
    Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
    The SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, originally named Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, is a United States Department of Energy National Laboratory operated by Stanford University under the programmatic direction of the U.S...

  • Big Science
    Big Science
    Big Science is a term used by scientists and historians of science to describe a series of changes in science which occurred in industrial nations during and after World War II, as scientific progress increasingly came to rely on large-scale projects usually funded by national governments or groups...


External links