"Comminciamo a rullare, eh?"
by Judy Jackson
Light snow from a low January sky. Jittery italiano-americano buzz inside the blue metal building housing SiDet, the high-high-high-tech workshop hard by the old bubble chamber out in Fermilab's back forty. The Who's Who of CDF and SVX assembled outside the clean-room glass. All eyes on a rectangular pink package parked on a trolley inside.
Today's the day SVX hits the road.
The stiff pink package, made of housing insulation, holds the Silicon Vertex Detector for the Collider Detector at Fermilab. The SVX represents five intense years of painstaking, intricate work by a dedicated cadre of incredibly skilled technicians, engineers and physicists. Scores of nights and weekends are wrapped up inside that peppermint pink Owens-Corning insulation. Depending on how you add it up, the SVX has cost upwards of 20 million dollars, or a hundred thousand dollars a pound, give or take.
No one wants to drop it.
In the parking lot outside waits a flatbed truck. Fermilab rigger Mike Mascione sits at the controls of a 15-ton crane, waiting to lift the SVX from its trolley onto the truck as soon as it emerges from the building.
Engineer Stefano Moccia, from Frascati, sticks his head out a side door to make sure that everything's ready in the parking lot.
"Cominciamo a rullare, eh?" he calls to Francesco Palmonari, who is choreographing the outdoor phase of the operation.
|last modified 2/2/2001 email Fermilab|