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Physicist: New Fermilab Electromagnet A ‘Masterpiece Of Science’

The Muon G-2 Storage Ring sits outside Fermilab, waiting to begin its work in the search for dark matter. (Credit: Fermilab)

The Muon G-2 Storage Ring sits outside Fermilab, waiting to begin its work in the search for dark matter. (Credit: Fermilab)

John Cody. John Cody
John Cody is a veteran reporter for Newsradio 780.
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BATAVIA, Ill. (CBS) – A Fermilab scientist spoke Wendesday of beauty as he described a 50-foot electromagnet waiting to begin its work at its new home in Batavia.

WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports the shrink-wrapped Muon g-2 electromagnet was resting safely on the Fermilab campus, following a 3,200-mile voyage by land and sea, from Long Island, earlier this summer.

Dr. Brendan Casey said the 17-ton magnet allows precise measurement of muon magnetism, because it’s one continuous superconducting magnet, not an assembly of smaller ones that can each vary in strength.

“It’s one of the most beautiful storage rings that’s ever been built,” he said. “Since it’s just this one component … if we measure something that looks strange with the muon, we know that we’re actually measuring something about the muon, and we’re not just measuring a problem with our storage ring.”

Casey said it’s unclear to him whether the ring could ever be reproduced, calling it “one of these masterpieces of science … something like the Mona Lisa is for Da Vinci.”

The Muon G-2 Storage Ring has been swaddled in nitrogen gas and white shrink wrap, awaiting the start of its work measuring muon magnetism, and maybe pointing toward the existence of particles of dark matter, in a year-and-a-half at Fermilab.