This article appeared in Fermilab Today on Jan. 29, 2014.
2013 was a big year for the Muon g-2 experiment.
Over the summer, the 52-foot-wide electromagnet that forms the core of the experiment was transported from New York to Illinois in a flurry of publicity. Construction began on the building that will house that device and should be completed in the next couple of months.
And in December, the Department of Energy granted Critical Decision 1 approval to the experiment, marking a major milestone and charting the path forward.
Chris Polly, project manager for Muon g-2, said this approval process was the first time that DOE officials have reviewed the entire scope of the experiment, from the design to the cost to the timeline. In order to get to this stage, the collaboration developed a 500-page report, designing and costing every element of the project and then laying those elements out in a schedule consisting of 1,500 activities spanning four years.
“It was an incredible amount of work that required everyone on the collaboration to really focus, thoroughly think through the whole experiment and document it all for the reviewers,” Polly said.
The reviewers were pleased with the work and only had a few recommendations. Most notably, the committee suggested that the experiment team work with the DOE to develop an accelerated schedule.
The review took place in September, and the intervening months were spent working out the timeline and funding profile. The work that had already been done to transport the electromagnet and begin construction of the MC-1 Building helped convince the reviewers that the team could keep to such a schedule.
“CD-1 approval is a very important milestone for the experiment, and we appreciate all the strong support that we received from DOE and the laboratory management in getting us to this point,” said Lee Roberts, co-spokesperson for the experiment.
The Muon g-2 collaboration received more good news this month as well: The omnibus budget bill signed into law on Jan. 17 includes funding to continue the design and begin construction of the experiment. (That funding is not explicitly spelled out in the bill but is covered.)
2014 will be another big year with the reassembly of the storage ring in its new home, the development of detectors for the experiment and the start of construction for the muon source. And this summer the Muon g-2 team will undergo the next step in the approval process, an extensive CD-2 review.