20-ton magnet begins move from Argonne to MSU
A 20-ton decommissioned medical magnet was recently moved approximately two miles across the site from the Zero-Gradient Synchrotron (ZGS) tunnel in the 300 Area to Building 203. Originally used for magnetic resonance imaging, the magnet is destined for use as a charged-particle spectrometer at the Facility for Rare Isotope beams at Michigan State University.
Now that it has been safely relocated to the Accelerator Development and Test Facility in Building 203, it will be cooled so that is can operate in a superconducting state, a process that will first use 7,000 liters of liquid nitrogen and then 7,000 liters of liquid helium. Once cooled, the magnet will be powered up to several tesla to verify that the solenoid works after being in storage for more than nine years. A successful demonstration of the magnet’s functionality will allow Physics Division researchers to make the case for additional funding from the U.S. Department of Energy for full funding of the Argonne-led SOLARIS project, transforming the
magnet into a spectrometer for the study of exotic nuclei. It will then go to Michigan State University in March if all goes as planned. Over the course of the next two years, Argonne scientists and their collaborators propose to instrument the magnet with detectors.
The magnet’s journey took about five hours, following several weeks of careful planning between the Argonne riggers and Physics Division lead John Rohrer. With weather conditions almost perfect (aside from being 20°F) the journey started with the magnet being lifted through the confines of the ZGS tunnel, positioned on the flatbed truck, slowly driven across the lab, and finally being lifted down the steep entrance to the ADTF facility, entering with an inch to spare.