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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.

2013-3995  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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Solar Farm Cranking Out 23 Percent More Energy

Long Island Solar Farm

The 200-acre Long Island Solar Farm (LISF) is located at the east end of Brookhaven Lab.

Bring on the sunshine! April showers are behind us and the sun is shining a little longer each day in the Northern Hemisphere. That means the 200-acre Long Island Solar Farm at Brookhaven is producing increasing amounts of renewable energy for Long Islanders—and data for our researchers.

The LISF, located at the east end of the Lab site, is the largest array in the Eastern U.S. and contains 164,312 photovoltaic panels. The Solar Farm can produce peak power output of 32 megawatts (MW) of alternating current to power homes and businesses. Operations began in November 2011, and during its first 12 months, LISF produced a total of about 54,000 megawatt-hours (MW-h) of energy. That's 23 percent more than the design estimates of 44,000 MW-h.

As power is produced at the Solar Farm, researchers collect large amounts of data that stream in from sensors and imagers installed across the array. The data include measurements for the amount of sunlight illuminating the array; the electrical output at each of the 25 inverter stations, where the sun's direct current is converted to the alternating current that we all use; and the positions of clouds as they drift across the sky, altering the amount of sunlight that reaches the panels and the associated power they produce. 

Brookhaven now has datasets to forecast the Solar Farm's near-term output, ranging from seconds and minutes to as far out as one hour. While developing models to forecast output 24 hours out is still a big challenge, researchers at the Lab are working with the National Center for Atmospheric Research to develop advanced forecasting models and techniques through a recently awarded Department of Energy grant.

To learn more about the Long Island Solar Farm, read the full story by Brookhaven's Pat Looney.

2013-3996  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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Local College Students Get Hands-On Training

simulation training

Students perform "hands-on" simulation training by placing a container of unknown liquid inside a drum where it will stay until it can be assessed and appropriately discarded.

Brookhaven Lab's Fire-Rescue Group recently hosted nearly 50 students from Suffolk County Community College who are taking courses toward certification in hazardous materials handling. The students came to the Lab to participate in a hands-on, simulated "hazmat" field training exercise.

The training scenario they participated in dealt with the challenges of securing a 55-gallon drum leaking an unknown, and possibly hazardous, liquid. 

After the firefighters demonstrated the use of the Lab's specialized equipment for potential hazmat incidents, the students donned Tyvek suits, boots, gloves, and other required personal protective safety gear for the simulated training. The students were also trained on the use of a thermal imaging camera, which helps determine the amount of liquid in the drum before making a decision on next steps.

For this training session, the leaking 55-gallon drum was placed inside an 85-gallon container, where—if it were a real scenario—it would remain until it could be assessed, properly transported, and disposed of by appropriate authorities. The Lab's Deputy Fire Chief, Timothy Kelly, who led the exercise, said "Every BNL firefighter is a certified hazardous materials technician. We were happy to share our knowledge and expertise with the next generation of emergency responders who are working to get certified in this very important field." 

2013-3997  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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  • June 13 – Community Advisory Council meeting, 6:30 p.m., Berkner Hall, Room B.
  • June 20 – Brookhaven Women in Science talk, Laurie Waters, Los Alamos National Laboratory, "New Piece of Old Lace in My Office, Come See!" 4 p.m., Berkner Hall Auditorium.
  • June 26 – Recital – Showcase from Pianofest, a summer workshop held in the Hamptons, noon, Berkner Hall Auditorium.

*The events above are free and open to the public. Visitors 16 and older must bring a photo ID for access to Brookhaven Lab events.

2013-3998  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office