Former BNL Experiment Gains New Purpose… and Takes a Road Trip

Muon g-2 ring

A model of the truck that will be used to transport the Muon g-2 ring, placed on a streetscape for scale. The truck will be escorted by police and other vehicles when it moves from Brookhaven Lab to a barge, and then from the barge to Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois. Credit: Fermilab

Brookhaven's g-2 experiment (pronounced gee-minus-two), which operated between April 1997 and April 2001, is hitting the road. The experiment was conducted to test of the validity of the Standard Model of particle physics by measuring a key property of subatomic muons, and it revealed some tantalizing hints of new physics. But more precision is needed for definitive proof. So the experiment is being dismantled and moved to the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois, where researchers from 26 institutions from around the world will collect new data using a much more intense and pure beam of muons. If successful, the experiment could indicate that there is exciting science awaiting beyond what has been observed.

While most of the experiment can be disassembled and moved to Fermilab by truck, the massive electromagnet, which is the centerpiece of the machine, must be transported in one piece. Scientists and engineers have devised a plan to load the 50-foot in diameter ring onto a specially prepared barge that will travel down the East Coast, around the tip of Florida, and up the Mississippi River to Illinois—a 3,200-mile journey.

The ring is expected to leave New York in June and arrive in Illinois in late July. The land transport portions on both the New York and Illinois ends of the trip will occur at night to minimize traffic delays. 

Learn more and follow the journey.

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