Science: Batavia's Ferret

The mammoth machine is one of the most complex ever devised by man. But before the National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, III., goes into operation, the world's largest atom smasher is getting some vital help from one of the smallest workers available: a friendly, 15-in.-long ferret named Felicia.

To maintain maximum velocity as they speed through narrow vacuum pipes, the subatomic particles that will be produced at Batavia must encounter no dust or debris. To remove any obstructions from the seven 1,400-ft.-long tubes that channel the particles into a laboratory where mesons will be studied, designers had planned to build an...

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