Fermilab is an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.
“Fermilab’s cryogenics R&D may not be able to deep-freeze a brazen Han Solo, but it can cool cutting-edge particle accelerators down—way down—to the optimum operational temperatures.
‘No one realizes how important the cryogenic cooling system is until it stops working,’ said Jay Theilacker, the head of the Cryogenics Department. ‘Many of the proposed experiments at Fermilab need to be cooled down to within a couple degrees of absolute zero to operate.’
In 2010, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act granted Fermilab $114.2 million to cultivate the infrastructure for projects like SRF technology development, NOvA and LBNE. The cryogenics department received $10 million to establish the cooling systems required to chill these projects.
‘Fermilab built this entire building with money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,’ Theilacker said while giving a tour of the brand-new Cryomodule Testing Facility (CMTF).
“Eventually, R&D for a number of different experiments will move into this building, but before any of these experiments can operate, they will need the cryogenic infrastructure.’ ”
The model of the Cryomodule Testing Facility shows the SLAC refrigerator in orange. The silver cylinder in the foreground is the cryogenic distribution box, and the large silver cylinder on the right is the superfluid helium cryogenic plant. Image: Dave Richardson, AD
Major construction of Fermilab’s Cryomodule Test Facility was completed in January 2012. This facility will house the new cryogenic systems as well as R&D for a number of different experiments. Photo: Jerry Leibfritz
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