About Fermilab


From the Director

Michael Witherell Fermilab is dedicated to research in particle physics, with the goal of understanding the fundamental nature of matter, space, and time. We are the largest U.S. laboratory for particle physics, and we operate the Tevatron, the world's highest energy accelerator. Among the many scientific breakthroughs made at Fermilab are the discoveries of the top and bottom quarks, the two heaviest of the basic constituents of matter. Physicists from laboratories and universities all over the world come to Fermilab to do their research at the forefront of science.

The world of particle physics will enter a new era in the next decade. Important new discoveries will be made at the energies that become accessible in this period. These discoveries will alter our view of the physical laws that shape our everyday world. They could also give us a sharper picture of what occurred at the beginning of our universe, when the big bang produced great quantities of the exotic particles that we study with accelerators today. The Fermilab Tevatron will be at the center of this research.

In carrying out its mission of basic research, Fermilab also advances the technology of accelerators. The impact of accelerators is steadily growing in medicine, materials research, structural biology, and nuclear physics, as well as in particle physics. Fermilab and other particle physics laboratories develop new accelerator technologies and techniques that are then transferred to other applications. We also train accelerator scientists, many of whom take their expertise into the applied fields that use accelerators.

Fermilab is committed to improving science and math education for American students, especially for those traditionally underrepresented in science. Each year, thousands of students and teachers visit Fermilab's site for workshops, field trips and classes.

Due to heightened security restrictions, Fermilab's site is temporarily closed to the public. Thank you for your patience and understanding during the security restrictions over the past year, and during their current reinstatement.

Michael S. Witherell


last modified 9/12/2002   email Fermilab