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Tour a semiconductor, superconductor, particle accelerator??

Tour a semiconductor, superconductor, particle accelerator??

Old Oct 15th, 2007, 07:35 AM
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Tour a semiconductor, superconductor, particle accelerator??

First, my scientific vocbulary may be lacking, but in talking to my husband yesterday, he said his IDEAL vacation would be to tour a semiconductor lab (or something like that). Where you can actually see the thing working.

This was a surprise to me, as after being married for 11 years, he has never mentioned anything like this before. But, I am at a loss as to what this actually is/does or where there might be one and if you can tour them. Does anyone have any info to lead me in the right direction? We live in Champaign, IL (2 hrs south of Chicago).

We have been to Kennedy Space Center and my husband was disappointed as to the lack of scienitific information. He reads scientific american and science news.

Thanks! And have a great week.
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Old Oct 15th, 2007, 07:51 AM
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Try Fermilab in Batavia--a particle physics lab and accelerator. They have educational programs and tours. I live very close by but have never toured, although my daughter has as part of a school program. Not too far from you in Champaign, either.

http://www.fnal.gov/
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Old Oct 15th, 2007, 08:12 AM
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I suspect your husband is referring to what is called a semiconductor factory, known as a fab, (short for fabrication).

Without some kind of special connection and need it will be nearly impossible for him to get inside an actual commercial factory. Security, safety, defectivity, and overall 'need to know' requirements will prevent that.

There are several more public facilities that frequently host things like local school groups for community educational outreach. There is one in Austin, TX called Sematech, and one in Albany, NY, called Albany NanoTech. These are R&D facilities, not production, but the principles are the same. Both facilities have good window viewing areas where you can see things in action. They don't normally let visitors inside the clean area, but might make an exception.

Another alternative is to visit a working laboratory at a university. There are a number of these around the country. Stanford, RIT, Cornell, MIT all have 'cleanroom' facilities. UIUC might as well as it is a high tech university. The physics or EE department would be the place to check.

I'd check in your own back yard at UIUC first and see if you can get into see their labs first.

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Old Oct 15th, 2007, 01:33 PM
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Thank you both very much for the information.

The Fermilab is about 3 hrs from us, I will have to ask him if this is what he is interested in visiting.

And, J62, I'm not sure what UIUC is? We have only lived here a few months. I will have to see just what my husband was hoping to see/do during a visit somewhere.

Thank you again for your time!
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Old Oct 15th, 2007, 01:44 PM
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UIUC is Univ. Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
(the main Univ Illinois campus)

Here's info about their laboratories
www.micro.uiuc.edu
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Old Oct 15th, 2007, 01:57 PM
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Perchance he means he wants to tour a
linear accelearator, we have what is touted to be the worlds longest buidling out here on the west coast-Stanford has one with public tours
http://home.slac.stanford.edu/visitslac.html

R5
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Old Oct 15th, 2007, 02:13 PM
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R%, are they still doing public tours at the linear accelerator? We did one while visiting the Stanford campus in about 1995 or so, and it was wonderfully informative. But I thought maybe post-9/11 they were too concerned about security to do the tours.

It's definitely worth looking into if you'd consider travel to the west coast.
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Old Oct 15th, 2007, 04:19 PM
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Tell your husband to check out
www.jlab.org.
It's the web site for the accelerator at Jefferson Labs in Newport News VA. The site has a lot of info about the work done there.
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Old Oct 15th, 2007, 04:32 PM
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enzian: clicking on R5's link, there are tours being given January-March, 2008 at SLAC.

luv2plan: could you ask your husband to be a bit more specific?

A semiconductor is not a superconductor is not a particle accelerator, although sometimes their paths might cross - seemingly. I'm really not a techhie, but the three things mentioned here are very very HI tech.

There are a number of major semiconductor manufacturers in Silicon Valley, so if you are going to Stanford to see the linear accelerator, you could see if one of these companies will accommodate you with a tour.

Superconductors are used for making maglev trains, for example. I would guess that a university would be the best place to get a superconductor tour.

Good luck!
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Old Oct 16th, 2007, 06:31 AM
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John said he knows what Femilab is and would very much like to go there, especially since it is within driving distance.

Thank you so much for all the info, I'm printing for future reference.

Have a great week!
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Old Oct 16th, 2007, 09:11 AM
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I don't know if the Stanford linear accelerator generally gives public tours, but they did on graduation weekend, so I guess it's not a security problem for them.
 
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