The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

July 27, 2013

Mysterious magnet gets rock-star status

(Continued)

GLEN ELLYN, Ill. —

Brookhaven scientists no longer had a need for the electromagnet, and shipping it to the Midwest for about $3 million was cheaper than the alternative. Constructing an entirely new electromagnet could have cost as much as $30 million, Polly estimated.

In any case, at least they didn’t have to pay tolls on the parts of the journey that took it over land.

“We’ve been assured that we don’t have to pay tolls, but we’re waiting to see if we get the violation notice in the mail. It’d be pretty hard to dispute,” said Fermilab spokesman Andre Salles, who was among the magnet’s traveling companions for about 10 days of the trip.

Moving the thing, however, was in some ways as complicated and as delicate a maneuver as building it. It could not be taken apart or twisted more than about an eighth of an inch without irreparably damaging the coils, Polly said.

It started its trip in late June, floating by barge down the East Coast into the Gulf of Mexico — where it outran a tropical depression — then up the Mississippi River, where it was photographed drifting past St. Louis’ arch on its way into Illinois.

“We had to hurry up and get going through the Gulf of Mexico and really have the tugboat pour it on,” Terry Emmert Jr., vice president of Emmert International, said while recalling the race to avoid the storm. His company moved the magnet across the country.

Earlier in the journey, it spent almost a week docked in Norfolk, Va., because of bad weather, but the team traveling with it found a welcome diversion.

“The port happened to be across the street from a minor league baseball stadium so the barge crew spent the whole week there,” Salles said.

Just south of Chicago, it was hauled out of the water and strapped onto a specially made 16-axel flatbed truck for its final leg. It traveled at a mere 5 to 15 mph, with a behemoth bumper sticker informing puzzled onlookers that it was “Driving discovery in particle physics.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World
  • U.S.: Russia firing across border

    KIEV, Ukraine — Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Small holes cause big jitters

    SEOUL, South Korea — For the developers of the world’s sixth tallest building near Seoul, a mysteriously shrinking lake and the appearance of small sinkholes in residential neighborhoods couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time. ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Secret photo victims must describe trauma for case

    BALTIMORE — Thousands of women whose genitals might have been photographed during gynecological exams can share a $190 million settlement from Johns Hopkins Health System. But they’ll have to describe their trauma before seeing any money. ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Worries about U.S. consumers drag stocks lower

    NEW YORK — Investors got some bad news about the American shopper on Friday, driving down stocks and sending the Dow Jones industrial average to a loss for the week. Two major U.S. companies — the retail giant Amazon and the credit card ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Air Algerie jet crashes with 116 on board

    OUAGADOUGO, Burkina Faso — An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, and its wreckage was found near the border of neighboring Burkina Faso — the third major international aviation ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Very bad week: Airline disasters come in a cluster

    WASHINGTON — Nearly 300 passengers perish when their plane is shot out of the sky. Airlines suspend flights to Israel’s largest airport after rocket attacks. Two airliners crash during storms. Aviation has suffered one of its worst weeks ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Hong Kong firms on edge as democracy rally blockade looms

    HONG KONG — As activists vow to shut down Hong Kong’s financial district in protest at China’s attempt to hobble democratic elections in the city, businessman Bernard Chan is preparing for the worst. Chan’s investment company has added ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Planes with Ukraine bodies arrive in the Netherlands

    KHARKIV, Ukraine — Two more military aircraft carrying remains of victims from the Malaysian plane disaster arrived in the Netherlands on Thursday, while Australian and Dutch diplomats joined to promote a plan for a U.N. team to secure the ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Iraq elects new president as attacks kill dozens

    BAGHDAD — Iraqi lawmakers elected a veteran Kurdish politician on Thursday to replace long-serving Jalal Talabani as the country’s new president in the latest step toward forming a new government. But a series of attacks killed dozens of ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Doctor fired back at gunman

    DARBY, Pa. — A doctor grazed by gunfire from a patient who had entered his office in a suburban hospital’s psychiatric unit stopped him by returning fire with his own gun and injuring him, authorities said....

    July 25, 2014