Fermi National Laboratory

Combo Platter (Combination Store)

If you walked into a restaurant and asked for a combo platter, you might get two or three different entrées. Now, if you walked into the Main Control Room and asked for a combo platter, you'd get two similar entrées from two different restaurants and another entrée from a third restaurant.

Well, not really, but the analogy is amazingly close.

Any laboratory can serve up protons, but our specialty is antiprotons, and the serving waiter is the Main Injector, which coordinates the meal. The Linac/Booster cooks up the protons and gives them to the waiter, who then passes them on to restaurant number one, the Antiproton Source.

It is here that the normally blah protons get peeled, turned inside out, spiced, and stored. Trouble is, they can make antiprotons fast, but have limited room, so the waiter takes some of the antiprotons over to restaurant number two, the Recycler, where they pack them closer, which gives them a denser flavor.

The waiter serves out the protons onto our platter (the Tevatron) first. Now comes the tricky part: the waiter gets two spoonfuls (shots of antiprotons) from the Antiproton Source and shoves them on the platter, two spoonfuls from the Recycler, two more from the Source, one more from the Recycler, and then the last two from the Source. However, the waiter can mix and match any way he wants.

Unlike most platters in a restaurant, the Tevatron has to finish the cooking by speeding the dish up to near the speed of light, and voila, one combo platter for our customers, CDF and DZero.

last modified 03/31/2005   email Fermilab