How to move giant magnet from New York to Chicago (+video)
This 50-foot-wide magnet is going nowhere fast: It will take more than a month for scientists to roll the magnet across land and sea to its new home.
Compared to ants, we humans have a ways to go in the science of moving large objects.
But we're getting better at it. We've shown we can safely cart 165,000-pound space shuttles from hangars to launch sites to an L.A. museum. We're pretty good at hoisting steel girders to the top of skyscrapers and grand pianos into second-story apartments.
The latest test: a 15-ton magnet.
Long Island scientists will on Saturday begin to move a 50-foot-wide, 15-ton electromagnet about 3,200 miles to Chicago, in what is expected to be a more than month-long trip, according to Brookhaven National Laboratory, the magnet's original home in Long Island, where it was built in the 1990s.
The magnet is being transported to Illinois’s US Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, where scientists from 26 institutions worldwide will use it for a new experiment called Muon g-2 that will study muons, subatomic particles that exist for just 2.2 millionths of a second.
"The transport of the ring from Brookhaven to Fermilab is a great example of the cooperation that exists between national laboratories," said James Siegrist, associate director of science for high-energy physics with the U.S. Department of Energy, in a press release. "The Muon g-2 experiment is an important component of the future of particle physics in the United States."