What happens at the Test Beam Facility?

Mandy Rominsky talks all about the Fermilab Test Beam Facility, one of only a few test beam facilities in the world. Photo: Georgia Schwender

Mandy Rominsky talks all about the Fermilab Test Beam Facility, one of only a few test beam facilities in the world. Photo: Georgia Schwender

Many staff know the Fermilab Test Beam Facility as that building with the roof made of arched half pipes, but how many of us know what goes on under that roof?

Physicist Mandy Rominsky has recently been leading tours of the facility, known as FTBF, for Fermilab employees. Fermilab Art Gallery curator Georgia Schwender snapped this photo of Rominsky, the facility’s manager, whose enthusiasm for the work was evident, Schwender said.

Particle physicists from all over the world come to FTBF to conduct tests on their particle detectors, signing up for one or two weeks to use the facility, just like one might rent a timeshare.

The users bring or ship their detectors to FTBF prior to or during their time slot. They install their detectors in the path one of the facility’s two beamlines, run beam through it 24/7, and measure the detectors’ responses to the beam. At the end of the test period, scientists are better able to characterize their detectors.

FTBF can supply all kinds of particle beams, anywhere from 200 million to 120 billion electronvolts of energy. It can provide a proton beam and can produce beams of secondary particles, such as muons, pions, electrons and kaons.

Four people run the facility: Rominsky, Physicist JJ Schmidt, Instrument Specialist Ewa Skup and Technician Todd Nebel. The quartet gets tremendous help from throughout the lab, and especially the Particle Physics and Accelerator divisions.

Thanks to the FTBF crew for your excellent work!

Editor’s note: If you have an interesting, high-quality photo that portrays a little-known slice of Fermilab life, submit it through Fermilab at Work. Include a short description and include the names of the people shown.