A scale model of the gigantic magnet being trucked to its final resting place
CHICAGO — Here’s how Wyle E. Coyote would have solved this problem. Wyle E. Coyote would have merely built another giant magnet, 800 miles to the west, hit the “on” switch and waited.
But we can’t all be Wyle E.
And so this giant 600-ton 50-ft-in-diameter magnet takes the long way around.
First it will be trucked from the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York to a barge and then floated down the coast, around Florida and up the Mississippi to northern Illinois where it will be transferred to a special truck for transfer to Chicago.
The state’s highway and toll booths were measured last year to ensure the contraption would fit and it does, but just.
There’s four inches clearance at the tool booths.
And it will be driven at night, to avoid delays.
The machine is part of something called a gyromagnetic processor (you’re like “that much I knew”) located at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in the suburbs of Chicago.
And the trip will test the stability of the trucks and the barge because it cannot tilt or twist much more than a few degrees, or the wiring will get messed up.
The unit is actually called a Muon g-2 storage ring. (Google it yourself.) And it has to remain flat so no undue pressure is put on the superconducting cables inside.
And once there, the particles inside (muons), which only last for 2.2 millionths of a second, will help scientists learn more about how the universe works.
Meantime, we at TodaysTrucking.com maintain that the really big questions will continue to elude us, questions such as, “Didn’t every cartoon watcher in the whole galaxy hope that one of these days, Wyle E. would catch and slaughter that dweeby bird?”