Built in 1967 and located nearly an hour outside of Chicago in Batavia, IL, Firmilab is a sprawling government-funded particle physics research facility. It is home to the world renown Tevatron, a 4.2 mile-long particle accelerator that runs underground along the perimeter of the site, and home to some of the worlds greatest physicists who work there to answer questions about the fundamental nature of the universe.
Though the Tevatron is no longer the biggest (replaced by the Large Hadron Collider in France), important research continues to be carried out at Firmilab every day. On top of is significance to the science community, its founders wanted to create a beautiful and architecturally significant place to work, the plan being to attract the smartest people in the word to live here for years at a time. Hence a visitor will see the ultra-modern main structure which resembles a space shuttle hanger, modern low-slung buildings where various experiments take place, and a picturesque array of beautiful country homes that would fit in on any farm in the US.
In 2012 a new building and collider were constructed, this one called the Muon Collider, and Reel Story was asked to photograph the highly secured interiors. As one might expect, it looks like a science fiction movie set complete with gigantic lasers, super clean rooms, thick radiation-proof bunkers, and long underground tunnels where the actual accelerator tube will enter the facility and near-light speed collisions will be studied for several years to come.