Super magnet almost home at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia

July 26, 2013 2:54:44 AM PDT
A giant magnet that's 50 feet wide and weighs more than 15 tons has taken a month to transport 3,200 miles from New York to Illinois.

The gigantic electromagnet is scheduled to end its unlikely journey to its new home outside Chicago on Friday. Batavia's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory will use it to study blazing fast particles.

What's not blazing fast is the magnet on the last leg of its journey. This week, it's moved by truck at between 5 and 15 mph.

En route from a federal laboratory in New York, it was floated down the East Coast into the Gulf of Mexico, then up river to Illinois.

The used magnet cost $3.5 million to transport. But it would have cost far more to construct a new one.