As an experimenter at Fermilab you need to know how to get on the site, how to register, work with your host division, and obtain a computer account. If you are a spokesperson or the physicist in charge for an experiment, you have additional responsibilities of which you need to be aware.

Site Access Controls

Fermilab has an electronic gate system to control access to the site. You can apply for an access card and tag at the Key and ID Office. The Key and ID Office is located on the ground floor crossover of Wilson Hall - between the east side and west side elevators (WHGNX). Your access card and tag will allow you to enter and exit through either Batavia Road or Pine Street at any time.

Until you obtain your access card and tag, you will have several options on how to enter the site. During normal working hours, ticket dispensers will be working at both entrances, and during rush hours a guard may be present. If no guard is present, enter through the visitor gate and get a ticket. (Both entrances have a visitor and an employee gate.) When you use a ticket to enter, you must leave through the same gate you entered. If you experience any difficulties, you may use the intercom, located by each exit gate. Press the button on the intercom and you will be connected to the Comm Center.

During off hours you will need to contact the Communications Center in order to enter the site if you don't have an access card and tag. The intercom by each ticket dispenser will connect you to the Communications Center. They will ask you some questions in order to determine your business on the site. They will then allow you to enter.

Registration as an Experimenter

To become an experimenter at Fermilab, you must officially register with the laboratory and receive your identification card. You should register on the first working day after you arrive. To register, go to the Users' Office, on the first floor of Wilson Hall, West side, (WH1W), open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

When you register, you give basic information about yourself, your home institution and your experiment at Fermilab. You need to certify that your medical insurance is valid while you are at Fermilab. You also need to receive basic training in key Fermilab safety policies and procedures.

Fermilab policy calls for users' home institutions to sign a document called a žUser Facility Class WaiverÓ covering rights in patents developed at Fermilab. If your institution has not yet signed such a waiver, the Director's Office arranges for a responsible officer of your institution to sign one.

After you register, you will receive authorization to get an identification card and the keys you need from the Key and ID Office. Your ID card is valid for two years or for the duration of your medical insurance, whichever is less. When you receive your ID card, we ask you to keep it with you while you're at Fermilab. You'll need it to make stockroom withdrawals, for example.

After you receive your Fermilab ID, you may request an account on the central computers operated by the Computing Division (ext. 8118). You can access account requests forms on the Internet at or on the eighth floor crossover of Wilson Hall.

Some large experiments, such as CDF and DZero, also require experimenters to register with the experiment.


The laboratory needs to maintain clear, direct and consistent communication with each experiment at every stage from proposal to conclusion. The scientific spokesperson serves as the primary link between the laboratory and the experiment. Thus, every group of experimenters at Fermilab must designate a scientific spokesperson; some experiments choose to designate co-spokespersons. Large experiments may also have Fermilab Managers who serve as head of their respective experiment's Fermilab department in the Particle Physics Division (PPD). The responsibilities of the spokesperson and/or the PPD Department Head for the scientific, technical and ES&H aspects of the experiment must be clarified in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or Project Management Plan with the laboratory. Members of the laboratory staff often need to discuss an urgent matter with a responsible member of an experimental group concerning safety, scheduling or operation of an experiment. Each spokesperson of an experiment should identify its management structure along with a clear chain of command regarding who is to be contacted in various situations. This includes identifying a project manager, an operations manager, a department head, a building manager, or a physicist-in-charge, whom the Laboratory can contact quickly.

Working with the Particle Physics Division and the Beams Division

For each experiment, either the Beams Division or the Particle Physics Division serves as the host division for coordinating the needs of the experiment. Experimenters will work closely with one or both Divisions during all stages of their experiment including planning, design, and set-up of experiments. There are technical experts as well as technical facilities available for help. In addition, Building Managers are assigned to every building at Fermilab. Building managers are responsible for ensuring compliance with all the relevant ES&H rules and codes. To accomplish this, they coordinate ES&H-related work in their buildings. Experimenters should work closely with building managers to make sure their work complies with ES&H standards.

Beams Division

The Beams Division operates and upgrades Fermilab accelerators and beamlines, providing particle beams for both fixed-target and colliding-beam experiments. The Beams Division Headquarters are located in the Cross Gallery (ext. 4468).

Associate Beams Division Head for Systems. The Associate Beams Division Head for Systems helps make the proposal impact statements required for all experiments. This person serves as initial point of contact between the Beams Division and the experimenters until the Beams Division appoints a liaison physicist.

Communication on the Beam. Each Monday, the All Experimenters' Meeting presents short-range and long-range schedules of accelerator operations, the intensity distribution of beams, and a weekly summary of accelerator performance. This meeting provides an opportunity for an open discussion of operations, problems and special considerations. Experimenters may contact the Main Control Room or the relevant Beams Division žRun CoordinatorÓ directly for questions concerning accelerator operations or beam operations. TV Channel 13 displays the current accelerator status and beam-intensity distribution.

Particle Physics Division (PPD)

The Particle Physics Division provides management and technical resources for the construction and operation of particle physics experiments. The division head serves as the initial point of contact for new experiments. The division office is located at WH8W (ext. 3200). Within PPD, large experiments have their own PPD Departments, while smaller experiments, or those in the very early stages of development, reside in the Experimental Physics Projects Department.

Safety Inspections. The division conducts regular safety inspections of buildings and experiments.

Office Space. Office space for experimenters is arranged through relevant departments and the Particle Physics Division office.

Engineering. Engineering and other technical specialists within the Particle Physics Division are available for general technical consultation and may participate in the necessary ES&H reviews required for the Operational Readiness Clearance or Operational Permit. Division technical support must be identified and approved in advance.

Detector Construction Facilities. The Particle Physics Division operates facilities to build experimental apparatus. Experimenters must identify and get prior approval for use of the technical resources they need.

Installation. The Particle Physics Division oversees the rigging, electricians and other trades to install experiments. Outside contractors often provide these services, collectively called žT & MÓ (for žtime and materialsÓ).

Survey and Alignment. To ensure accuracy in installation, experimenters designing apparatus should consult the Alignment Group during the design phase on the method of alignment, the required accuracy and the need for fiducial marks.

Operational Readiness Clearance. Each PPD experiment, including test beam studies, must obtain an ORC from PPD before operating all, or any part of, the experiment's apparatus. ORCs are also required during the test phase for partially complete systems. ORC is a sign-off checklist showing that various aspects of the experiment have undergone and passed an ES&H review by the division, that the experiment has provided all specified documentation, and that the division and the spokesperson have jointly conducted a final ES&H walkthrough. See Chapter 2 for more details.