GRAND RIVERS, Ky. (July 16, 2013) – A 50-foot electromagnetic particle ring passed a milestone July 16, 2013 on its circuitous journey from Long Island, N.Y., to Chicago as it exited the Kentucky Lock operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District.
Its 50-foot diameter ruled out shipment by road, rail or internal airlift and, “It turns out you can’t just pick up (by helicopter) a 15-ton ring and fly it over peoples’ houses without asking them first,” said Chris Polly, lead scientist for the ring’s experiments.
“And that might have been possible for six miles of Long Island, but it was impossible over 30 miles of Chicago suburbs,” Polly added.
Lockage of the 425-foot long, 54-foot wide motor vessel “Miss Katie” and its tow was no problem according to Dallas Barfield, Nashville District lock operator.
“We lock numerous commercial barge tows of differing lengths and cargoes, a World War II LST, missiles for space flight, huge paddle-wheel entertainment vessels and pleasure craft in the Nashville District,” Barfield said. “The basic difference in this lockage was the unusual cargo,” he added.
Named the Muon g-2 (pronounced g minus two), it is a very powerful electromagnetic ring capable of carrying 5,200 amps of current and, “It creates a very strong magnetic field that allows us to store a special particle called a muon,” Polly says.
A muon is a sort of phantom particle that exists only for a very short time after a particle collision. The g-2 traps muons and then uses them to probe for evidence of other new particles no one has seen before, according to Polly.
Please see http://www.npr.org/2013/07/02/197719271/15-ton-particle-ring-travels-to-chicago-by-land-and-by-sea> as the source for this article and more information about the Muon g-2’s journey for the planned partnership efforts of Chicago’s Fermi National Lab and Long Island’s Brookhaven National Laboratory.
For more information on navigation locks in Nashville District, please see http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/Locations/NavigationLocks/TennesseeRiver.aspx