A piece of equipment left over from the canceled Superconducting Super Collider, the linear accelerator or linac. A metal pipe 100 meters long, the linac consisted of four sections of speed-boosting drift tubes, a high-powered vacuum system to suck out all the air, and bundles of electromagnets to steer the protons.
Scientific - Test Facility
Today the linac, now operated by Trace Life Sciences, runs 24 hours a day, emitting a continual beam of positive hydrogen ions, or protons, which are then accelerated to higher energies. A "kicker" magnet directs portions of the proton beam towards five different targets. These are made of elements such as thallium electroplated onto copper plates. Technicians later dissolve away the newly radioactive material and package it in vials, which are shipped by FedEx in lead-lined styrofoam containers.