Jessica Orwig

Fermilab scientist Cheng-Yang Tan stands to the left of the Fermilab’s new radio frequency quadrupole. Photo: Reidar Hahn In August, Fermilab said good-bye to its iconic Cockcroft-Walton generators. Now the new starting point for Fermilab’s chain of accelerators is in place. It’s called a radio-frequency quadrupole, or RFQ. Last month, workers moved the laboratory’s new, 3.5-meter-long RFQ to its permanent home between one of the Cockcroft-Walton generators and the front end of Fermilab’s linear particle accelerator, or Linac. Once in…

This dramatic shot shows the final stages of assembly of the 4-meter-diameter steel vessel, which will house the liquid scintillator and the low-radioactivity liquid-argon detector. Photo: Yuri Suvarov, UCLA A treasure trove of dark-matter detectors rests within the deep reaches of Italy’s Apennine Mountains as part of the Gran Sasso National Laboratory. The mountains shield them from cosmic rays, making these detectors highly sensitive to dark-matter particles. Pushing the envelope for still higher sensitivity is the trove’s newest jewel, the…

Terry Blake attracts lightning to his suit-protected body. Photo: Jeff Larson Ever been so close to lightning you could feel its heat? Fermilab Booster Technical Specialist Jeff Larson and his group of friends have. In fact, they make a hobby of harnessing lightning in the palms of their hands and, better still, they do it for an audience. On Nov. 3 the group, befittingly named Masters of Lightning, will perform their seemingly frightful feats at SciTech Museum in Aurora, Ill….

Todd Nebel, PPD, is hard at work at the Fermilab Test Beam Facility. Photo: Reidar Hahn How long have you been at Fermilab? I’ve been here for 32 years. I started right out of high school. Describe a typical workday. I do just about anything from A to Z in a given day. I’ll work on anything from basic mechanics, something like twisting a wrench, to more technical work, like trying to design a new detector for a user. For…

Students currently in MINERvA’s Latin American collaboration come from Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru to study at Fermilab. From left: collaboration founder Jorge Morfin (Fermilab), Edgar Valencia, Aaron Higuera (both at U. Guanajato, Mexico), Gonzalo Diaz (PUCP, Lima, Peru), Leo Aliaga (College of William and Mary, Virginia, U.S.), Arturo Fiorentini, Kenyi Hurtado, David Martinez (all three at CBPF, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Photo: Jessica Orwig Students in Latin America do not typically have access to facilities where they can practice…

Lieutenant John Babinec and firefighter Eliseo Anaya, aka Sparky, teach children at the Fermilab Daycare Center the importance of fire safety awareness. Photo: Jessica Orwig A clear blue sky dawned the morning of Oct. 9 when fireman Lieutenant John Babinec quizzed a group of eager children at the Fermilab Daycare Center on their knowledge of fire safety. “What are the three things you need to do if your clothes catch fire?” Babinec asked. “Stop, drop and roll,” the children shouted…

If everything goes according to plan, in 2014 Fermilab will fire up the largest liquid-argon time projection chamber to be built in the United States. The device will be the heart of the laboratory’s MicroBooNE experiment, which physicists hope will confirm whether there are just the three known types of neutrino oscillations or if more exist – a possibility that’s been badgering scientists for nearly two decades. Until recently, the LArTPC was merely drawings on paper and some stacked and…

Take a look around and you’ll likely catch a glimpse of Fermilab beautification efforts. Photo: Ed Dijak, PPD Many years ago a Fermilab employee planted a baby spruce tree in a garden plot he had rented from the Fermilab Garden Club. When the sapling became too big for the 20-by-40-foot plot, Roads and Grounds helped him replant the tree, which now is a towering 20 feet tall, in the Fermilab Village. Fermilab’s garden plots, which are available to all Fermilab…