Enter Fermilab, where a new campus has been built for studying muons.
“That opened up a world of possibilities,” recalled Dr. Polly in his biographical article. At this point, Dr. Polly at the Fermilab. he and his colleagues were able to repeat the g-2 experiment there more precisely. He became the project manager for the experiment.
However, they needed the Brookhaven 50-foot magnetic separation line to run the experiment. And so in 2013 the Magnet embarked on a 3,200-mile odyssey, mostly by barge, along the east coast, around Florida and up the Mississippi, then by truck via Illinois to Batavia, the home of Fermilab.
Resembling a flying saucer, the magnet attracted attention as it was driven south over Long Island at 10 mph. “I went with and talked to people about the science we were doing,” wrote Dr. Polly. “Moving through the suburbs from Chicago to Fermilab provided another public relations opportunity. It stayed in a Costco parking lot for over one night. Well over a thousand people came out to see it and hear about the science. “
The experiment began in 2018 with a more intense muon beam and the goal of compiling 20 times as much data as the Brookhaven version.
In 2020, a group of 170 experts known as the Muon g-2 Theory Initiative published a new consensus value for the theoretical value of the magnetic moment of muon, based on three-year workshops and calculations using the Standard Model. That answer compounded the original discrepancy that Brookhaven reported.
Aida X. El-Khadra, a physicist at the University of Illinois and co-chair of the Muon g-2 Theory Initiative, was reached by phone on Monday and said they had waited a long time for this result.
“I’ve never felt like I’m on hot coals,” she said.
On the day Fermilab announced, another group that used a technique known as lattice computation to compute the muon’s magnetic moment received a different response than Dr. El-Khadra.