Plans are underway by scientists at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Long Island, N.Y. to transport a 15-ton electromagnet from the lab to its new home in Chicago over the next five weeks.
According to a report from the Associated Press, the magnet will be taken by barge down the Atlantic, around Florida, and back up the Mississippi River to its new home at the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois.
"When we first started thinking about this, we all thought it wouldn't be possible," said Bill Morse, a physicist at the Brookhaven National Lab, during an interview with the Idaho State Journal. "But if you have a big problem, you find good people who can fix the problem. That's physics."
The electromagnet was built by scientists at Brookhaven in the 1990s and was the largest of its kind in the world, according to Headlines and Global News.
Now, however, Brookhaven says it no longer needs the machine, as and such, have decided to donate it to the Department of Energy Lab in Chicago. At the Fermi Lab, Brookhaven says scientists will likely use it for an experiment called Muon g-2, which will examine the properties of muons, which are subatomic particles that live on 2.2 millionths of a second, Design and Trend reports.
According to Chris Polly, the manager of the Muon g-2 project at Fermilab, it would have cost them up to $30 million to build a new electromagnet of the same kind from scratch. By relocating the machine instead of rebuilding, scientists at Fermilab will save up to $27 million, as it's expected that the move itself will result in costs near $3 million.
The move is expected to commence next Saturday.
"We're really excited to get this move underway," Polly told reporters. "It's not often our neighbors get a ringside seat for something this complex and interesting."