Fermilab Bison Herd

Einstein’s epic legacy lives in many scientific investigations from our search of the furthest corners of the universe to the investigation of energy and the smallest subatomic particles.  A cornerstone of the latter search is the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in the Chicago suburb of Batavia.  The lab is the world’s largest particle accelerator where scientists use electromagnetic energy to collide atoms and search the realm of subatomic particles.  The lab’s accelerator array includes a smaller circular “booster accelerator” which then speeds particles into the four mile circumference Tevatron, the most powerful particle accelerator in the world and one of science’s most famous circles!  (You might want to check out satellite photos of Fermilab online or better yet, next time you fly into or out of Chicago on an airplane try and get a window seat and might get a chance to see it from the air.)

One interesting footnote about Fermilab is that a small herd of bison lives on its grounds symbolizing the lab’s location on the prairie and at the frontier of science.  You are a large animal veterinarian and suppose you have been hired to manage the herd, which, due to your competent stewardship, keeps multiplying each spring with the birth of  bison calves.  Also suppose that the bison have full range within the area circled by the Tevatron and that each bison needs a fourth of square mile each of area to graze.  How many bison should the Fermilab herd contain?  (Don’t worry, the excess bison will be transported to join the bison happy herd in Hayden Valley National Park.)

Answers are in the Teacher Only area "".