Saturday, October 27, 2007

Fermilab Bison Are Radiation Detectors

Columbia Spectator [Columbia University, NY]
22 Oct 2007

Taking America Beyond the Standard Model

By Elizabeth Wade

The first things you notice at Fermilab are the buffalo. After building the world's most powerful particle accelerator underground, the physics lab decided to turn the land above it into a prairie preserve populated by a herd of American bison. A suburban legend floats around the surrounding town of Batavia, Illinois, that the bison serve the same function as canaries in a mine, with the physicists keeping tabs on the animals' well-being in order to monitor the lab's radiation. [...]