Fermilab's first Particle Physics Photowalk a success
|Participants in Fermilab's Particle Physics Photowalk take pictures of the Cockroft-Walton pre-accelerator on Saturday, Aug. 7.
For those who see it every day, Fermilab's good looks are nothing new. But for those who don't, the laboratory has been a hidden treasure of visual gems - until recently.
Responding to Fermilab's invitation to capture its visually appealing parts, 49 photographers converged on laboratory grounds on Aug. 7 for its first Particle Physics Photowalk. It was a hit.
"Everyone I talked to wants to be at the top of the list for the next one," said participant Tony Reynes from Wilmette, Ill.
The event's success is owed to its organizers, Reidar Hahn and Kurt Riesselmann. They, along with 25 Fermilab employees who volunteered their Saturday mornings to the outreach effort, directed photographers in and out of five laboratory facilities: the Antiproton Source, the Linac, the superconducting radio-frequency test accelerator at New Muon Laboratory, the Test Beam Facility at the Meson building, and AZero.
Docents guided participants as they zoomed and snapped their way around magnets and cryostats. Scientists were on hand to address photographers' questions and ensure the safety of everyone involved.
"The people in the labs were great, full of information," said participant Dana Carnett of Hampshire, Ill. "It sounds goofy to say they provided good customer service, but that's what it was."
The photographers, who came from as far away as Italy, had the opportunity to explore laboratory areas not typically open to the general public.
"I happen to be someone who loves mechanical, rusty and metallic stuff. I had no idea whether I'd find things like that at Fermilab," Reynes said. "I got there, and I must have some mechanical genes in me, because I felt there was eye-candy everywhere."
The photowalk was part of an international endeavor by five high-energy laboratories to reach out to amateur and professional photographers. All are hosting local photowalk photo contests, and each will submit selected photos for a global competition. The CERN Courier and symmetry magazine will publish the winning photographs.
"The main thought I walked away with was, 'What a secret.' Fermilab is in our backyard, but we had no sense of what it was," Reynes said.
View images from the five international photowalks on the Flickr site.
-- Leah Hesla