Fermi National Laboratory


Flat Stanley's Recipient Journal
February 27, 2003
Fermilab, Batavia, IL

Welcome to Fermilab! I'm Elizabeth Clements, and I work in the Office of Public Affairs at Fermilab. On our tour, I will take Flat Stanley to a lot of interesting places at the lab. He will get to meet some real scientists and learn all about research at Fermilab.

Flat Stanley Gets a Visitor's Pass
Before we can begin our tour, Flat Stanley needs to report to Fermilab Security to get a visitor's pass. After asking Flat Stanley some questions (you see, Fermilab has never had a flat visitor before!), Security Guard Robert Holle gives Flat Stanley his own official visitor's pass.

Flat Stanley in Wilson Hall
In this picture, Flat Stanley and I are standing in Wilson Hall, which is the main building on Fermilab's site. The building is named after our first director, Robert H. Wilson, and is sixteen stories tall. Even though Robert Wilson was a scientist, he was also very interested in nature and art. He is the reason why Fermilab has a herd of over fifty buffalo and 1100 acres of restored prairie today!

Flat Stanley visits the Fermilab Cafeteria
Before continuing with our tour, Flat Stanley announces that he is hungry (very politely of course!) and would like a snack. I treat him to a bag of chips and then introduce him to some scientists who are having lunch. The Fermilab cafeteria is the best place to hear scientists talk about their experiments and share their theories about the universe.

Flat Stanley purchases a ticket to the Fermilab Arts Series
In addition to having some of the top physics experiments in the world, Fermilab also has an Arts Series that features dance performances, concerts and plays. Receptionist Kathy Johnson gives Flat Stanley a free ticket to see the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company on March 8.

Flat Stanley meets the Director of Fermilab, Mike Witherell
Mike Witherell has been the Director at Fermilab since 1999. He has a very big job because he has to make sure that everything is working correctly at Fermilab. Flat Stanley is a little nervous to meet somebody so important, but the Director makes him feel right at home and is very honored to meet our first flat visitor.

Flat Stanley visits the main control room
The next stop on Flat Stanley's tour is the main control room. You can think of this place like the brain of Fermilab because it controls all of the experiments. The main control room has all kinds of computers and scientific equipment in it. There are always a lot of scientists in the main control room to make sure that the accelerator is working.

Scientists check Flat Stanley with the Geiger Counter
A Geiger Counter is a tool that Scientists use to measure radiation. Having a flat visitor was new for all of the scientists, so they check Flat Stanley over with the Geiger Counter just to be safe. Don't worry, because Flat Stanley is perfectly healthy! He says that the Geiger Counter tickles though!

Flat Stanley explores a model of the Main Injector
Fermilab has what we call a chain of accelerators. You can think of this chain like the gears on a car. The higher the gear, the faster the car moves. Here at Fermilab, instead of cars we accelerate particles that are much smaller than a grain of salt. Each different part of the chain of accelerators plays an important role to increase the speed of the particles that are moving inside. The faster things move, the more our scientists can learn. The Main Injector is one of these important parts in the chain of accelerators.

Flat Stanley visits Fermilab's Neutron Therapy Facility
Did you know that Fermilab has a cancer treatment center that has treated over 3000 people? Flat Stanley didn't, so we took him over to learn about the Neutron Therapy Facility. Radiation Therapist, Brian Pientauk explains to Flat Stanley how the treatment works and poses with him in the special chair that the patients use.

Flat Stanley stands on the model of the Fermilab site
Flat Stanley cannot believe that the Fermilab site is so big! Fermilab is ten square miles or 6,800 acres. Because Fermilab has lots of woods and restored prairie, many species of rare animals live on site.

Flat Stanley fills out an employment application
Flat Stanley thinks that Fermilab would be a fun place to work, so he decides to fill out an application for a summer internship. Our education department offers many different programs for students from kindergarten through college.

Flat Stanley stands in the accelerator model
Flat Stanley understands that Fermilab has a lot of important scientific research going on, but he doesn't really understand the accelerator. I tell him to picture a giant donut (about four miles all around) and put it underground. Now imagine that the donut is hollow and it has a billiard ball in it. Someone gives the ball a strong kick, and the ball starts to role all around. To accelerate means to increase speed. So we need to kick the ball very often to make it go very, very fast. Now what do you think would happen if we put another ball into the donut, but made it role in the opposite direction of the first ball? The two balls can hit each other. If they are going fast enough when they hit each other, they might break up into lots of tiny pieces. Scientists study the tiny pieces to learn more about the "things inside of things".

Flat Stanley isn't quite sure if he completely understands how an accelerator works, but he thinks that it sounds pretty cool. He would also like to see a real donut that big!

Flat Stanley visits the Lederman Science Education Center
Flat Stanley's final stop on the tour is the Lederman Science Education Center. At the Lederman Science Education Center, Flat Stanley has a lot of fun exploring all of the different science exhibits. The Lederman Science Education Center has hands-on science experiments that teach kids of all ages all about Fermilab.

Thanks for visiting Fermilab, Flat Stanley! It has been a pleasure to be your tour guide! I hope that you will visit us again soon!

A Visitor from Flatland - FERMINEWS, Friday, March 21, 2003

last modified 3/18/2003   email Fermilab