history

Curtis Danner joined Fermilab on his birthday, two days after graduating from high school, in June 1970. He worked on bubble chamber film analysis when he started and quickly became a jack of all trades.

Do you have original artwork by Angela Gonzales that you are willing to loan to the Fermilab Art Gallery? If yes contact Georgia Schwender, georgia@fnal.gov. “A Lasting Mark: Artist Angela Gonzales at Fermilab 1967-1998” will be on display June 1 through Sept. 30.

Roger Dixon, longtime Fermilab accelerator scientist, tells the story of a young summer student’s naive, bungled encounter with a Fermilab VIP in the 1970s.

As we enter the second month of Fermilab’s 50th year, we look back on Robert Wilson assuming the lab’s first directorship and revisit the lab’s first experiment, along with other memorable milestones.

Bruce Chrisman, Fermilab scientist emeritus and former chief operating officer for the laboratory, tells the story of how Fermilab came to be the first Department of Energy laboratory with a daycare center on site.

Fermilab’s beginnings can be traced to a 1963 report by a panel of U.S. scientists led by Norman Ramsey. In the 50 years since, Fermilab has grown to a laboratory of 1,800 employees, and scientists from 44 countries come to Fermilab to participate in its forefront particle physics programs.

One day Robert Wilson decided that, instead of taking the elevator, he would climb 10 flights of stairs to work. Some of the rest of us followed his example, and then we got the idea that we’d see who could do it the fastest.

Many visitors to Fermilab reasonably conclude from its name that Enrico Fermi worked at the laboratory, but he never did. In fact, he died in 1954, years before scientists even officially recommended the construction of a U.S. accelerator laboratory.