Peter Limon retires
Fermilab physicists have a lot to say when asked to describe their colleague and longtime friend, Peter Limon. Leon Lederman called him eloquent, noisy and insistent. Jim Strait called him rowdy, entertaining and impatient. Alvin Tollestrup affectionately called him "a pain in the butt."
They all agreed that after he retires, they will miss his boisterous attitude, extensive knowledge of physics and ability to get things done. Today is his last day at the laboratory, 37 years after he first started as a full-time employee.
"I certainly feel invested in Fermilab," Limon said. "My ego and Fermilab are intertwined."
Limon played a major role in building the Tevatron, especially in the installation of its magnet systems. He also worked on design, installation and leak-checking for the accelerator's cryogenic vacuum system. His tendency to ask hard questions - and find the answers - made him an invaluable part of the team, physicist Helen Edwards said.
Retired Fermilab physicist Rich Orr, who first hired Limon full-time, said he could assign him to any part of the project and know he would do a good job.
"He could fend for himself," Orr said.
At one point, Limon returned to Fermilab from a sabbatical to find himself without an office. When Orr did not respond to his requests for one, Limon built his own office in the hallway out of packing crates. It wasn't long until he got his wish.