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How a 17-ton electromagnet was transported from Long Island to Chicago

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Muon g-2
Muon g-2

It's not every day you need to ship a giant, 17-ton particle accelerator halfway across the country, but that's the challenge that recently faced the Brookhaven National Laboratory and Fermilab. The massive Muon g-2 electromagnetic ring was set to be transported all the way from Brookhaven on Long Island to Fermilab in Chicago, but there was some debate on the best way to do it. Eventually, the Muon took a roundabout route, floating down the eastern seaboard and then up the Mississippi river on a barge — it was deemed the safest and most cost-effective route, given the fact that the massive ring contained coils that would be rendered inoperable after a twist of only 3 millimeters.

But first, the Muon had to make its way from Brookhaven to the water, a daunting trip given the ring's 50-foot diameter. First, it traveled across the Brookhaven campus during daylight and then it made a midnight run for the water, at which point the Muon was out of Brookhaven's hands. It was quite an event on campus, with some 50 guests invited to check out the Muon as it traveled to the ocean. The Brookhaven laboratory commemorated the move with a time-lapse video of the New York leg of the trip, which gives a good perspective on just how careful the team needed to be during its journey. Fermilab also has a lot of great info about the move, including a Google map showing the Muon's complete route.