Giant Electromagnet Moving from BNL to Ill.

The super
The Superconducting Electromagnet at Brookhaven National Lab is being shipped to Illinois (Courtesy of BNL).

How does a 15-ton Superconducting Electromagnet cross the road? Slowly.

The 50-foot-wide, $25 million electromagnet storage ring will begin its 3,200-mile voyage from Brookhaven National Laboratory in Yaphank to Fermi National Laboratory in Illinois by traveling 5-10 mph down William Floyd Parkway late Sunday night through early Monday morning.

“This is an exciting new project, but it is going to cause a small inconvenience for residents in the surrounding area,” said Suffolk County Legis. Kate Browning (WF-Shirley).

Area residents should prepare for some rolling road blocks and detours once the device hits the road—one week after it was initially scheduled to start its road trip.

Suffolk county police will escort the electromagnet during its 4-6 hour journey from BNL, two miles north of the LIE, down the parkway to Smith Point Marina in Shirley.

From the marina, the electromagnet will be taken by a specially built barge down the east coast, around Florida, then up the Mississippi River, where it will finally reach its destination in Illinois.

The electromagnet consists of steel and aluminum with delicate superconducting coils built on the inside. The structure is very sensitive; bending it only one-third of an inch can cause a significant amount of damage.

The electromagnet is the staple of an experiment called The Muon G-2. It will allow researchers to study Muons, which are subatomic particles that live only 2.2 millionths of a second.

The results are predicted to aid in groundbreaking research in particle physics, which is a branch of physics that deals with the properties and relationships of subatomic particles.

Those interested in following the journey of this massive structure you can follow the move on their live web feed. Also, BNL will be updating their progress on their twitter account.