Behind the scenes at Fermilab

As part of a global physics photowalk, Fermilab welcomed 49 photographers behind the scenes at Fermilab. Groups visited locations around the site typically off-limits to the public for a glimpse into America's particle physics laboratory.


  1. Fermilab has a lot of fascinating equipment around, from accelerators and cryogenics to detectors and magnets. As part of #PhysPics15, we opened up five areas of the lab that visitors (and even most employees) don't get to see. We also embedded four live-tweeters, a first for our photowalk, to share the event with the world. They documented their experience with #FNALbts - Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, behind the scenes.
  2. Photographers headed to the Cryomodule Test Facility, CMTF, where they got to see a massive refrigeration unit, learn about cryomodules, and even glimpse a special radio-frequency quadrupole recently delivered from Berkeley Lab.
  3. Another stop was Proton Assembly Building not far from CMTF. It's filled with charismatic and futuristic-looking equipment.
  4. Time to make the protons @fermilab #fnalbts And yes, they do use Air Products Erin.
    Time to make the protons @fermilab #fnalbts And yes, they do use Air Products Erin.
  5. A very popular stop was the Main Injector, the largest operating accelerator at Fermilab. The Main Injector receives protons from the booster, bends and focuses the beam with magnets, and sends it on to many of our experiments. For example, the Main Injector sends beam to the fixed targets, creating neutrinos that will travel hundreds of miles through the earth to far-off detectors.
  6. In the Industrial Center Building, photographers got to check out the superconducting radio-frequency (SRF) cavities that Fermilab uses to accelerate particles. High-performance SRF cavities and magnets are the technologies of choice for the next-generation of particle accelerators.