Sunday, April 09, 2006

D-Zero Tour

***Click on Pictures to Enlarge***

Yesterday while I was on shift, Tom Diehl came down to do some work on the detector and asked if I wanted to see the machine. So the detector is like 3 stories tall and behind all kinds of walls and locked doors so I have actually never seen the machine that all my data is coming out of. Holy Crap was it an interesting tour!

Tom started working on D-Zero in 1990 as a postdoc. I asked him what was here when he got here and he said not too much. I think he was saying that all the support structure was in, but not much else. How much fun would have been to work on that, and as he said it was his playground. I was immediatly lost as we went up and down all these ladders and walkways and crawled through holes, but Tom always knew exactly where we were.

When I was an undergraduate, I spent a summer working on the upgrades to the D-Zero detector. As we were walking/crawling around we came across those detectors! All that work I did and there it was, all plugged in. How cool is that.

We also came across a room that Tom said was dubbed, "The Cable Dump". Literally, all the cables which have data coming out of them come into this area. At first glance it looks like a complete mess, but when you look closer you realize that each wire has a label on it and is bundled with other similar wires.

At one point I was sitting between the muon detectors (there are three layers and we were between layers 2 and 3). I was right in the middle/top of the detector. I kinda felt like a super hero! Well not really, but I did feel pretty cool..or maybe like a monkey after crawling all over the place to get there! In the picture on the left hand side you are seeing the top two layers of the muon detector. I am sitting on the other side in a mirror image of what is in the photograph.

What a great tour! So I want to send my thanks out to Tom for showing me around and pointing out all the stuff that he has worked on during his many years here at D-Zero. Really incredible.


Bob said...

I have no idea what any of that means, but it sure looks technical. What is a detector anyway and what does it detect. Is it anything like the Dan Brown book I am reading Digital Fortress?

Danny said...

Holy nerd alert, Batman!


(Are you sure you don't have a Y chromosome hidden there somewhere???)

LeahC said...

Yes I can admit I am a little nerdy. Nothing in comparision to your typical physics nerd though. You should spend one day here at Fermi Lab, we are just buildings full of nerds :-).

So at fermi lab we collide protons and anti protons and this collision happens right in the center of the detector, the detector then detects the shit that comes out. A way to explain it is say two big semi's crashed together, you could get not only the crap that comes off the trucks, but you could get say another semi, or a bike, or a mini cooper. Because of good ole' einstein and E=mc^2 when you have more energy you get more you can create things that are heavier that what you are crashing together! The protons move almost at the speed of light which one might say is a lot of energy!

Joe said...

I'm not sure what this D-Zero thing is, but I'm pretty sure I need one. Is there a particle accelerator attached to the business end of that thing?

Haight said...

How about a Fermi 5K? Runners must attach a pocket protector and calculate the change in there body mass index after they finish. Special award of merit will go to the person dressed closest to Erkel.

LeahC said...

cyboc and haight. a big LOL over here! Thanks!

I think everyone needs their own D-Zero detector.

And in all seriousness I was thinking of hosting a race around the ring but I don't know how many people I could get interested. We do have a yearly triathelon on site though.