15-ton magnet takes the long way from New York to Chicago

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magnetLONG ISLAND, NY – Scientists at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Long Island no longer need their giant electromagnet, so they’re sending it to the Department of Energy’s, Fermi National Accelerator Lab in Illinois. Only one problem, the magnet is 50 feet wide, weighs 15-tons and can’t be disassembled.

As everyone knows, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line; but for scientists and their electromagnet, it’s too dangerous. So they’re taking the long way home; 3200 miles in 5 weeks.

The monster magnet (which will be inert for travel) will be loaded on to a specially designed truck that will slowly haul it to the Atlantic Ocean where it’ll be loaded onto a barge and slowly shipped down the east coast, around the tip of Florida, then up the Mississippi, Illinois and Des Plaines Rivers.

The move will cost $3 million which is cheap compared $30 million it’d cost to build a new one. If it survives the trip to Chi-town, the giant magnet will be used in a new experiment called ‘Muon G minus two.’  The experiment will study subatomic particles that live two point two millionth of a second.

For most of us that’s not too exciting even if we’re told it could change particle physics; but it has to get to Chicago first and this is hurricane season.