Jan 22

Where particle physicists work


I had been to Fermilab before, but the first time I drove in as an employee had a magical effect on me. It was a thrill for me to belong in some small way to an enterprise so substantial. I was hired in as Education Program Leader for I2U2, an amazing collaboration about which some future blog post is brewing. But my focus here is on the lab, which has the feel of a cathedral, a monument to human achievement. This sense was not lost on the founder of Fermilab, Robert Wilson, whose sense of grandeur haunts the place still.

The image included above from the Chronicle of Higher Education shows something of the influence of Fermilab on science in the U.S. I pass it along because it is beautiful, important, and inspiring.

Fermilab was in the news recently because of the announcement of the defunding of the Tevatron, its high energy particle accelerator. To catch an inside glimpse of the lab at a crucial moment, see this video of the Director’s all-hands discussion.

Here’s a flickr set of images from Fermilab, some of them just cell phone grabs of images posted there, but many others captured as I’ve driven through the site. If you have a chance to visit, take it.