Fermilab celebrates 40th Linac groundbreaking anniversary
|From left: Robert R. Wilson and Glenn Seaborg at the NAL Groundbreaking
Forty years ago today Robert Rathbun Wilson and federal representatives broke ground for the laboratory's first permanent structure, the Linac Building.
Snow dusted the ground at the site of the future research facility, first called National Accelerator Laboratory, on Dec. 1, 1968.
"This time of year can test not only men but shovels," said Gerald F. Tape, commissioner of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, at the ceremony.
The laboratory was renamed Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in 1974. Fermilab's first structure holds the Linac, the machinery that gives protons their initial boost of energy on the road to the Tevatron.
The laboratory held the groundbreaking less than two years after the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission selected the site for the laboratory.
"We are committed to build this laboratory in five years," said Robert Rathbun Wilson, Fermilab's founding director, at the event, "and this groundbreaking signifies that we are really in business and on schedule."
Representatives of the Universities Research Association and federal, state and local officials joined members of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and of the high-energy physics community at the event.
"Each time a new regime of energy has been entered," said Glenn T. Seaborg, chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission at the ceremony, "a wealth of new phenomena has been revealed."
"Symbolically," Seaborg said, "we could say that the spade that breaks ground on this site today begins our deepest penetration yet into the mysteries of the physical forces that comprise our universe."
-- Kathryn Grim
Learn more about the groundbreaking.
Watch a YouTube video of the groundbreaking.