Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab celebrate as Governor Blagojevich proclaims April 21 as Illinois Particle Accelerator Day

Media contact
  • Kurt Riesselmann, Fermilab Office of Communication,, 630-840-3351
  • Catherine Foster, Argonne National Laboratory,, 630-252-5580
  • Mark Harris, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity,, 312-636-0697

CHICAGO, Ill. – In celebration of Particle Accelerator Day this weekend in Illinois, two U.S. Department of Energy Laboratories, Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, have planned events at their respective accelerator facilities. This is the second year that the two labs are celebrating “Particle Accelerator Day”- a celebration that follows Governor Rod Blagojevich’s proclamation of April 21 as Particle Accelerator Day in Illinois.

“The technology of particle accelerators will translate into significant scientific and economic benefits for our state and our nation, so I am happy to once again declare April 21st ‘Particle Accelerator Day’ in Illinois and encourage everyone to learn more about the contributions of this incredible technology to our world,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory work every day to advance important new technologies and discoveries and we look forward to continue supporting both federal labs in attracting even larger investments into these facilities.”

Fermilab and Argonne National Laboratory are world leaders in the science, technology and operation of particle accelerators. Last year both labs formalized their intent to collaborate on accelerator technology through a Memorandum of Understanding making Illinois a global center of excellence in the development of accelerator technology, both for scientific discovery and for the security and economic competitiveness of the State of Illinois and the nation.

“These are exciting times for accelerator scientists,” says Argonne director Robert Rosner, “and we are delighted with Governor Blagojevich’s proclamation of ‘Illinois Particle Accelerator Day.’ Our state is home to one of the most diverse set of accelerators in the world, carrying out research in science areas as different as particle and nuclear physics to material science, biological and medical sciences and energy sciences, based on close collaborations between national labs, universities, and industry; and such collaborations position Illinois as a recognized leader in accelerator science.”

Argonne is celebrating “Illinois Particle Accelerator Day” today by hosting a class of honors chemistry students from the College of DuPage. These students have been using Argonne’s accelerator research facilities to perform experiments as a part of their class, and today will tour the Advanced Photon Source. Argonne scientists will give them a glimpse into the world of particle physics, and will discuss the role of accelerators in today’s world and the unique discoveries they make.

The Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory will celebrate “Particle Accelerator Day” with Illinois high school students from Lincoln Park High School, who tour the laboratory on Monday. The students will also join Fermilab physicists for a discussion of the role of accelerators in the discovery of the fundamental nature of the universe. Scientists will share their own experiences as students and their excitement at the revolutionary discoveries that are unfolding in the field of particle physics.

Each year, some 20,000 students from middle school through university visit Fermilab to tour the facility and learn first-hand about science at a national accelerator laboratory.

“We thank Governor Blagojevich for his proclamation recognizing the role of particle accelerators in making the State of Illinois a center of scientific leadership,” said Fermilab Director Pier Oddone. “We look forward to celebrating ‘Particle Accelerator Day’ with Illinois students at Fermilab. After all, ‘Accelerator’ is our middle name!”

The text of the Governor’s Particle Accelerator Day proclamation is available here.

About Argonne and Fermilab Argonne National Laboratory
The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory conducts basic and applied scientific research across a wide spectrum of disciplines, ranging from high-energy physics to climatology and biotechnology. Argonne operates the Advanced Photon Source, one of the world’s highest intensity x-ray light sources. Since 1990, Argonne has worked with more than 600 companies and numerous federal agencies and other organizations to help advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for the future. Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy‘s Office of Science.

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Fermilab is the home of the Tevatron, the world’s highest-energy particle accelerator and a leader in the development of accelerator technology since the laboratory’s founding in 1967. Fermilab collaborates closely with Argonne and with other laboratories around the world on R&D for the International Linear Collider and future accelerator facilities proposed for Illinois, including heavy ion acceleration and high intensity neutrino sources. Particle beams from Fermilab’s accelerator complex are used to treat cancer patients at Fermilab Neutron Therapy Facility. Fermilab is managed by the Fermi Research Alliance, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy‘s Office of Science.