A joint Fermilab/SLAC publication

Soudan Lab

Just before 7:30 on a bitter-cold morning in northern Minnesota, engineer Jim Beaty begins the last leg of his daily commute. He steps into a dark brown metal box with five coworkers. Someone slides the door closed.


Bringing dark life to light

The stunning realization that up to half of life on Earth may exist underground has transformed biologists’ thinking about the origin and evolution of life here and on other planets. The search for "dark life" could go to new depths at a proposed underground laboratory.


Furniture finish

Who needs coasters when you have electron beams?

Photo of man holding acc app valve

Heart valves

Physicists at Alabama A&M University hope to improve the safety of artificial heart valves by forming them from a material bombarded with silver ions from a particle accelerator.


Superconducting technology, Chicago style

Fermilab is cooking up a hot technology—and the serving is ultracold. The laboratory is stepping up efforts to develop and test superconducting radio-frequency cavities, a key technology for the next generation of particle accelerators and the future of particle physics.


Credit where credit is due

In the swirling sea of thousands of people who contribute to a major particle physics experiment, how can a young physicist pop to the surface and get noticed? An international committee offers ideas.


Chuckling their way to a safer lab

There are many ways to deliver a clever play on words: deliberately with a nudge, coyly with a wink, or tossed nonchalantly into a conversation to trigger a delayed laugh—or a groan.


Jorge Cham: Piled higher and deeper

Jorge Cham's popular comic strip about the lives of hapless grad students takes him to the Large Hadron Collider—and launches a series of comics that explains the science with remarkable clarity.


Labs and industry perfect 3D chip

High-tech businesses must constantly innovate or become obsolete. But when it comes to investing in new machinery and adopting new techniques, industry can be timid, says Bob Patti, chief technical officer of Tezzaron Semiconductor.


Sloan Survey shares starry snapshots

In the old days, astronomers who wanted to use a powerful telescope had to buy plane tickets and cross their fingers the weather would cooperate.