Monday, May 17, 2010
Fermilab, May 14, 2010
Fermilab is a large area north of Naperville. Originally is consisted of farmland. Even farther back than that, Native Americans occupied the land. When the U.S. Government dug trenches for the colliders, they unearthed a wealth of arrowheads and other artifacts.
Fermilab is concerned with particle physics; the experiments involve protons and anti-protons colliding at the speed of light. This is the method that scientists used to discover the top quark in 1995. Now, the scientists are probing dark matter.
There are buildings for experiments, and there is a very tall building for administration. Lately they have added a building for teachers and students. In front of the tall building there is a reflecting pool, plus the flags of those nations which have scientists currently doing research at Fermilab. The day that we rode our bikes in Fermilab, there were the flags of 20 different nations.
Because the area was once farmland, there is lots of room for a herd of bison. The mothers and calves were too far out in the field for me to get a good shot even with the zoom. However, two very impressive bulls were close to the fence. In addition to the bison, the area has a native grassland area which school children visit. A nice bike path traverses the area . We saw houses, barns, a swimming pool, a picnic area, and several fishing ponds. For employees and guests there are social activities.