Historic Advanced Photon Source magnet sees the light of day for the first time in 29 years
Many of the Argonne employees who signed the magnet in 1994 still work for the laboratory, and their experiences building the original APS are vital to the ongoing effort to upgrade the facility.
On September 8, 1994, a group of people affixed their signatures in white ink onto a long red magnet. This was the final dipole magnet (of 81, including spares) built and tested for inclusion in a complex machine known as the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science user facility at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory. By sheer chance, it also happened to be part of the final module of magnets to be installed in the APS facility.
Once signed, the magnet took its place next to its fellows and, for the next 28 years, it helped to steer particles called electrons circulating in a large storage ring. Those electrons were manipulated to create bright X-ray beams that thousands of scientists have used over the years to conduct thousands of experiments for the betterment of humankind.
“We expect the new machine to work a hundred times better than the old one. We learned many lessons building the APS, and the best part is that many of the people who learned those lessons are around now to help us build the new one.” — Glenn Decker, APS Upgrade Project
Now the original APS is undergoing an $815 million upgrade, and the original APS storage ring is being removed to make way for a more modern one. And so, on May 23, the signed dipole magnet was taken back out of the storage ring facility, seeing the light of day for the first time in 29 years. As it emerged, it brought with it many memories, emerging fresh in the minds of those who were there in 1994, building a dream machine.
Read more on the Argonne website
Image: The final module of magnets to be installed in the Advanced Photon Source in September 1994, surrounded by several of the people who signed it at the time. The module was removed in May 2023 as part of the APS Upgrade Project.
Credit: Jason Creps, Argonne National Laboratory