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Giant Electromagnet Makes Pit Stop At Costco En Route To Fermilab

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A 50-foot electromagnet from the Muon G-2 Storage Ring experiment is parked at the Costco in Bolingbrook, on its slow journey from Lemont to Fermilab in Batavia. (Credit: CBS)

A 50-foot electromagnet from the Muon G-2 Storage Ring experiment is parked at the Costco in Bolingbrook, on its slow journey from Lemont to Fermilab in Batavia. (Credit: CBS)

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BOLINGBROOK, Ill. (CBS) – A marvel of physics is spending the day in a grocery store parking lot in the southwestern suburbs, before continuing its long journey to Fermilab in Batavia.

WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports the giant electromagnet known as the Muon G-2 Storage Ring stopped at the Costco parking lot in Bolingbrook on Wednesday, after a truck hauled it from the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in Lemont on Tuesday.

The 50-foot, 17-ton circular magnet drew plenty of puzzled reactions from shoppers and people who work nearby.

“What is that?” said Cindy, who works at the pizza place across the street. “White and blue and it’s on a red truck, and there’s probably about 50 people looking at it.”

The magnet was shipped to Lemont from Long Island, N.Y., on a barge that sailed down the Atlantic coast to the Gulf of Mexico and up the Mississippi River before it was loaded on a truck.

It will complete its journey only at night, as the truck requires a five-lane rolling roadblock to escort it on its 10 mph journey from Lemont to Batavia.

Even so, plenty of spectators have been watching the magnet slowly roll down the street.

Fermilab spokesman Andre Salles said a couple hundred people watched the truck hauling the magnet Tuesday night.

“There were people who had lawn chairs out there, just watching it go by, and there were people who actually followed it all the way here,” Salles said.

Fermilab plans a welcoming party for the ring on Friday at 5:30 p.m.

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