Physicists often find thrifty, ingenious ways to reuse equipment and resources. What do you do about an 800-ton magnet originally used to discover new particles? Send it off on a months-long journey via truck, train and ship halfway across the world to detect oscillating particles called neutrinos, of course. It’s all part of the vast recycling network of the physics community.

Physicists give the name “prompt photons” to those that are produced by two particles smashing together — hard collisions — as contrasted with those resulting from the decay of other particles. The Tevatron produced prompt photons by the hard collisions between protons and antiprotons.


Former Fermilab Deputy Director Young-Kee Kim was once a CDF experiment postdoc who put her heart and soul into the particle detector. At one point, her tireless efforts brought her work to a brief, soporific standstill.

The hunt for the top quark at Fermilab was heating up in 1994 when scientist Mike Albrow and his colleagues on the CDF experiment felt they were close to cornering the last, undiscovered member of the quark family. Albrow tells the story leading to the discovery of the particle by CDF and DZero.