Oral History Transcript — Dr. Jack Jagger
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Jack Jagger; June 15, 1990
ABSTRACT: Jack Jagger discusses his background, his work with accelerators and magnets, his time at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) and Argonne National Laboratory, Will Hansen, Ron Fest, and Randy Lenz.
Nebeker:This is an interview of Jack Jagger at his office at Argonnne on June 15, 1990. The interviewer is Rik Nebeker. Before though we start talking about those coils could I ask you your background, what degrees you have and what you sort of the main stages in your career?
Jagger:Well, I have no formal degrees. I started out working on accelerators in the late 1950s. I worked for Bo-Beck and Associates, a brief stint at University of California at Berkeley. Then I came to Fermi Lab in 1967 as a consultant and hired on in 1969 and worked with them through 1989. And my career progressed from designer, expediter, builder, mostly, until I was put in charge of the conventional magnet facility at Fermi Lab.
Nebeker:When was that?
Jagger:That was around 1973, 1974. Somewhere in there. 1975 maybe. But it was ten or fifteen years. And then they needed someone with experience of building lots of magnets and tooling and things like that here to do the APS. So they offered me the job. Since this is probably the last big job I'll do before I'll retire I came here because I wanted to do it. Basically that's it.
Nebeker:I see. So you were ahead of the conventional magnets division when 288, let's see 288 was taking data from 1975 until 1978, summer of 1978.
Jagger:Somewhere in that time frame I became, was given the job of doing all the conventional magnets. Will Hansen was in charge of it but he split off to take and do the SABER doubler program. He recently passed away which was a shame. But that's when I was given that part. I just sort of inherited all the conventional magnet work at Fermi. I headed up the fabrication and the detail design of the debuncher accumulator ring in that project. That was called the TEV-1 project, all conventional magnets involved with that.
Nebeker:Do you remember, let me pull up a citation, this short, I guess it was a leak and a short in the 288 magnet? Okay here it was, it was in 1977 on September 19. This is from a Fermilab report. "The analyzing magnet in the west spectrometer arm developed a "ford" in the major water league. In early October with the help of Jack Jagger in the ion factory at least temporary success was achieved." Do you remember that problem?
No because not that particular one. We had several. There were several magnets made by outside firms that developed shorts and problems that we reinsulated, pried leaves out, and replaced pieces. We did a lot of that in those days for experimenters and for a research department. Every time one of those magnets developed a problem we were called in. And we did it. So the things run together. It's typical for me to, the 608, if that's the right number?
Jagger:605. I remember that one because it was such a large job.
Nebeker:And that was, well, I guess you were there when the magnet was being designed and built, the coils, when they got the coils for it.
Jagger:Yeah. Ron Fest and I, since we did that designed them. Randy Lenz was a shop liaison person that works with the company that bent the leaves. That was Superior Pipe Specialist in Sicero. We designed the tooling for them, and they fabricated it and they fabricated according to our instructions. Randy Lenz sort of watched over our interest down there and helped them build it. He and Tony Glowauke (?) developed a clamping fixture that was water-cooled and heated so that they could raise the temperature of the, and keep it stable, of the aluminum for the welding. Made better welds. I don't understand all that technology.
Nebeker:I know that's a very difficult weld that had to be made.
Jagger:Yeah. Actually it was made more difficult than it needed to be. All you have to do is seal it up. You could make a small weld to do that and then weld the rest of it. That's really how we did it at the end, was that people were really worried about inclusions and spaces. That really isn't that important because the amounts of that is such a small compared to the cross-section of the coil conductor isn't important. But what you were worried about was those imperfections found their way out to the outside surface. So one would make a few root passes, check that, and then finish the rest of the weld. And you could rest assured that it was a good weld, because we made a field weld on every. All we got from the vendor was a flat, spiral-wound coil, like a clock spring, but in the shape of the coil. And then we connected one layer to the next at Fermi Lab with a weld. And then we built the coil that way. I think the coil was made of two double pancakes and then a single layer. It was like five layers of an upper coil and five layers of a lower coil. And you connected the single layers together electrically and hydraulically. We constructed it on a fixture of our design. It had ends that you could raise up and lower to assemble the coil. And also to insulate it.
Nebeker:Right. So you and Ron designed those coils?
Jagger:Yes. Ron Fest is a physicist. He chose the conductor size, the number of turns, that sort of thing. From that once we had that from him I designed the insulation system, the method of connected the water leaves, because he said center taps. I believe each half turn was a water circuit. And you'd have to get the drawings out because my memory isn't that good. We did have center taps in these coils where half way through the layer we had to bring a water tap out. So it was like two water passages per layer. And that pipe had to get down inside the coil and come out.
Nebeker:Is that a difficult job?
Jagger:No. We did it. Maybe we didn't know any better and it wasn't difficult. But you can do it again. What we used was just redundant practices to make sure, because those things are very difficult to repair after you've got coil all together. It's extremely difficult to separate the coil. You can repair it but you have to totally take the coil apart. So we were careful to make our welds accessible and large, probably larger than they needed to be just so it would be on the safe side.
Nebeker:Were you overseeing the insulating of all of that?
Nebeker:How long did that take? Is that a very large job?
Jagger:I want to say it was about a five or six month project or longer. It was a year, in its concept, a year or more. I don't know if you talked to Ron about this, but he may…
Nebeker:Well, I don't have good dates on it.
Jagger:He may have dates. I'm trying to figure out how. See we had a charge-vac system there because our facility was a total recovery type thing where you had to get paid for every hour used. So there has to be some accounting on the E-605. There has to be some budget codes that one could…
Nebeker:So all of your time on 605 would get recorded and then that would be charged to 605?
Jagger:Yeah, right. And so there, and I think Ron even wrote a paper on it. It may have some information in there.
Nebeker:Yeah, I have a copy of that paper.
Jagger:You see, at Fermi typically that's how things are done. You have a physicist or two and they design the physicist part of the magnet. And then people like me would design the mechanical part. Doing it that way and having a magnet facility one could take the advantage of existing tooling, sort of state-of-the-art technology, and you could build, draw something, design something that could be made. See, that's what's difficult sometimes in getting designs from other places and trying to build it. Nobody has ever built it before so it's their guess. And it's difficult to make changes because you don't know what you're affecting. But by having us do the detail design piece by piece and it really fit together fine. You had very, very few problems with that job. We had no leaks.
Nebeker:Is it still running?
Jagger:Yeah. No leaks. The biggest problem with it is they sent the lifting internal fixture out to be, lifted the individual parts. We were building these in pieces. And they had to be built in chronological order because we're going to go take and install them. Well, the fixture it would pick them up and rotate them ninety degrees, and then install them in the magnet, in the iron, when it went, whoever built it, didn't weld it probably and it didn't pass inspection, it failed. It failed in lifting one of the items. The lifting fixture did. It wasn't the fault of the fellow that designed it. It was the fact that all the welds were called down in a drawer and weren't put in. So it failed.
Nebeker:It failed in performance?
Jagger:Well, either in performance or in test. I'm not sure. So what happened was we then had to make all the coils while this thing was being fixed and redone we couldn't stop. So what do you do? You make a pile of these things. Typically the one on the bottom is the one you want first. So we designed it and built some other tooling that would take a completed coil and slide it over and place it somewhere. And we brought another pieces in essentially made another coil. And then stacked them up so they could go upright. That was, inside the building we had a whole array of pipes, of columns, wave flanges, and what we used to move this whole business was hand chain falls. We used to electronic, electrical stuff. We had a few electric hoists. But it was all very light weight, but many of them. We found that we bought like sixty hand-operated chain falls, of like 2,000 pound capacity at a lot less cost then you could if you installed a crane that would do it. Because the crane that we had wasn't a sufficient capability to lift the whole coil. So we actually built the structure inside the building to carry the weight.
Nebeker:I see. Is that a delicate operation? Was there danger of bending or damaging these things?
Jagger:Well, yeah. But what you did is you had seven people down each side of the magnet. You had a guy there like a [???] and he'd holler, "Pull." And everybody would pull on the chain. And then everybody would raise their hands and stop and grab it again. They'd pull it again, and the coil would just lock up. Then we set it down on rollers and rolled it to the side. And then lowered it down. See, each, what had happened was a storage area on one side of the building and an assembly area on the other and a center isle left open. We built this big long trailer that we could ship the wellex. I don't remember. I think it was a trailer we actually made because we didn't have room to get a conventional trailer inside the building. So I believe the coils came in on a big flat-bed. We picked them up and put them on our own trailer and then just pushed it into the building. Then that trailer was designed so that you could get slings and things around the layer, the coil layer and then lift it up.
Nebeker:And was that then used to transport it over to the mason?
Jagger:I believe it was. I'm not exactly sure now of all of that. Hubbard might. Hubbard may have pictures. He has slides, I think, of this stuff. There are pictures available. You go back over to Fermi to the industrial building and talk to Jim. He can probably dig you out a whole book of photographs. It's rather unique because the bare-aluminum flat pancake, single layer, was made, for each layer, was made at three or five specialties and shipped to us. We placed it on the tooling and actually insulated it and lowered the turns down onto the tooling, brought the next layer in and suspended it over top of the first one and then made the connecting joint and covered everything with plastic and made the connecting joint. Then insulated that and lowered it down. Then brought the next one in. It wasn't connected. It wasn't welded together. It was connected by an electrical jumper outside. And you put two layers like that together. And that made that package. Then you brought the third layer in. And you brought it in. And I believe, if you look at the drawings you can see how it was done. I don't have the drawings anymore. They're over there.
Nebeker:But that was a major job it seems.
Jagger:The toughest part, really, of the whole job was sitting down and figuring out how to do it. The doing of it wasn't hard. But, and you had to make all the tooling. I mean, there is nothing available. So we made, it still exists, the tooling still exists. Some of it in the Fermi bone yard, the rail head. The big, we got a structure from, it was used by the research division for something else. I forget what it was. We added things to it, to do our job. So we used the existing, some big framework that they used for something. We just got permission to use it and used it.
Nebeker:Was that for insulating, welding and insulating the coils?
Jagger:Yeah. If you can imagine it was like a, well, actually it would look like the framework for a flatbed trailer with the wooden part off. Then we built ends that would rise up to the angle, because the coil had kicked out at the end. In order to do the ground wrapping, one has to drop that down and do the drummed wrapping and bring it up and then raise the coil to do the ground wrapping down the center. We made little supports that would go in and you piece-mailed it in. It was, well, it was simple. It had bars or rails going across this way. The coil went this way. So you would round-wrap in between, then you simply lift it up and move the rail over and ground wrapped it then moved the rail back. Just like that. But you did it all with these chain falls, see.
Nebeker:How many people were on that?
Jagger:There were two, sometimes, three shifts, with seven or eight, nine people on each shift. A lot of people. That's a lot of people involved. It's a big hand job, labor-intensive. Quite labor intensive.
Nebeker:And this went on for quite a few months?
Jagger:Yeah, and I just can't tell you how much. I want to say it went on for six or eight months. Because we had to set the building up. Then when it came time to cure the coil we hooked it up and we polared (?) the coil without water.
Nebeker:What's that for?
Jagger:That's to heat the coil up so we would cure the insulation. The insulation was a v-staged insulation, polyester glass insulation that would, after you apply it, you heat it up and the material flows and cures. In order to make it work right, you have to apply pressure. So we bolted big plates and things to the coil. Made just a big fixture to apply pressure. And insulated that, put insulating sheets all over it. Then we hooked up a polar supply to the magnet, simply ran current through it. And monitored the temperature and resistance so that we didn't over heat it. We got it up to the curing temperature, which I think was about 280, 300 Fahrenheit for fourteen or sixteen hours. Cured the tape. And we let it cool. Take it apart, lift the coil off and start the project over again.
Nebeker:Was this all pretty standard technology on a larger scale?
Jagger:No, no. This was the first time that we at Fermi had used this polyester/glass shrink tape. We bought it from a company that is no longer in business. They, for some reason after this project their tape, they lost their quality control or something. Their tape never, it was called, oh boy I can't even remember the name of it now. General Electric makes fuse of flab. I think this company made Fuse of Flex it was called. I can't remember the name of the company, but it was a take-off on I think General Electric's name. The tape isn't as good. Well, it was as good at that time, but they lost their ability to make it. I don't know if you want to publish that, but that's what we found in [???] buying the stuff, Acme Armor Flex turned out to be a better tape, so we just discontinued the other one and just went off into the sunset. But the use of Polyester-shrink tapes is common on transformers and things, but not on accelerators. I think Fermi by and large has built more coils using a b-staged material rather than epoxy, impregnating the coils in any other laboratories.
Nebeker:What's a b-stage?
Jagger:Let me say this, that Slac, Stanford, uses some of them, they do make coils like that. But I don't believe they made the quantity that we did. It's a polyester glass material where it has polyester fibers running the long way and glass running the short way. What they do is they take and they coat that with epoxy and then they partially cure it. And after you apply it, you heat it and you finish it here and the stuff has a shelf life at room temperature for three or four months. If you store it in a refrigerator, you can store it for a long, long time. If you don't it does what they call blocking. It glues together on itself and turns into a hockey puck. The stuff is very, very good and Fermi makes lots of coils like that. Some of our coils here are done with the same material. This is a sample. You can have this.
Nebeker:But on the 605 magnet?
Jagger:The 605 used a material similar to this right here. This is a b-stage epoxy glass non shrink. This is just epoxy and glass. This is a polyester, the polyester runs this way and the glass runs that way and the tape is partially cured. So when you wrap it around something and apply pressure, it will flow and cure. This you will notice is more flexible than this. This is just a different manufacturer. This is the armor flex. The old fusa flex looked like this. This stuff is not as tough in applying it, it frays and tears. So we use this armor flex mostly for ground wrap and this for conductor wrap. Here is, this is b stage mica. This has mica flakes in it. It works the same way, you wrap it around something and it gets hard. This is dry mica. You can impregnate that. That's dry glass [???]. This is a scotch ply. This was the first time at Fermi that we every used scotch ply was on the 605. Have to peel off this to see it. They put it on backwards. It should be on here like this.
Nebeker:This is called scotch ply?
Jagger:It's a fiberglass b stage material. You can see the film, it's running in different directions. That's what we use in between layers and around the outside and then we covered it with a layer of this polyester glass.
Nebeker:This is to give it a really good insulation.
Jagger:When that hardens, it hardens just like G10. Just like a solid common insulation. It will harden up and you can't even drive a nail through it. This other is just dacron mylar dacron that's used for some insulations. This is a [???] stripping tape and a shrink mylar. The tedlar stripping tape is put over the whole works and then you put your plates and things on and now the coil won't stick. So you put a teflon coating over it, or a mold release. We always at Fermi and we will here, use a stripping tape as well as [???] belt and suspenders. Because the stuff is very cheap. If you lose one coil, you've bought a years' supply of that tedlar. It's a very good insulation. A very good insurance policy.
Nebeker:I didn't follow what it is that it's turning against?
Jagger:These are the coils right here. What we do is the conductor wrap is 7 mils half wrap and usually that is, in some cases it’s a glass [???] impregnate. If you're not impregnating this would be this glass right here that you put it on. Then you would put some G10 pieces in here as a keystone preventer. Then you wrap the whole thing with a layer of say scotch ply and then another half lap of this armor flex then you put the stripping tape over this whole business. Then you put it in a press mold and it cures the coil and the stripping tape allows you to [???] it all apart.
Nebeker:The danger is when you try to take it out of the mold?
Jagger:If the epoxy that's left in this tape, has flowed properly, it'll stick to metal too. One of the things is that if you plan to glue your coils, to bond your coils into your object, into your core, if you put it into a mold that has mold release in it, some of the mold release will come off onto your tape and you won't be able to bond it. You'll have to do some treatment in order to do that. If you put your stripping tape on, it stops all that. It does a lot of things for you. That's a technique that we developed at Fermilab that we use, I don't believe we invented it, but we developed the technique and we used it extensively. And we used it on the 605.
Nebeker:One question I have. I've seen some of the technical publications which this article you referred to and CMs and Fermilab and the other labs put out. I'm wondering how good the communication or sharing of [???] is in Slac, Cern and so on. They've all got magnet people. How good is communication, if you at Fermilab come up with some good technique, is that technique writing up on a CM?
Jagger:It gets written up and it gets spread around because we're all proud of what we do and we tell one another. People from Berkeley make trips to Fermilab and people from Fermilab make trips to Berkeley. We've gone out to Berkeley several times because they're a bit ahead of us. They're making a light source. It's much smaller than this, but they're making one. They've done some stuff. We go to see. A lot of times, you're just reinforcing your own design when you go out there. You realize there's someone else doing a similar thing, so I feel better. Yes. And people write these things up and we have design reviews constantly and people from Berkeley come out here for design reviews. We go to Berkeley for design reviews.
Nebeker:I see, so you act as consultants.
Jagger: A lot of that happens. Somebody has a bright idea and you hear about it because someone like Ralph Neaman who’s in the vacuum sections. He went out to Berkeley and he saw something. It had to do with supports or something that he liked. He told me about it and I looked into it. You get information back and forth.
Nebeker:But you can't count on the published literature or TM's.
Jagger:It would be good to have a news bulletin but nobody really has time to do that. At Stanford they suddenly discovered the use of stripping tape. I told them about it a long, long time ago. But they thought, "No, we'll use something else." Now they're using it. That's how it works. There's nothing new. Everything is just a refinement of something that was done before.
Nebeker:Of course, there's a big difference between academics and engineers in that academics can get universities are in a way paid to publish results. Engineers are paid to do work and they don't take time from that to write up these things. Is that something that is considered part of the job at Fermilab to write up the Technical Memos?
Jagger:I believe so. You're always notified about conferences. That's when people prepare these things. You write things you're proud about. You do that internally too. I know that Paul Manche was my boss at Fermi and once a year he would ask us to write up what we thought were out major accomplishments and major things. Some of those things get written up and that gets put into a report that Fermi makes that any other person could read. There's a book that comes out.
Nebeker:What's it called?
Jagger:I forget the name. It's a yearly publication that most laboratories make.
Nebeker:I think I know the annual report.
Jagger:Some in that. But most of it is given in papers at magnet conferences or accelerator conferences. But not all people attend those. It's gets around. Not as good as it should maybe, but it gets around. I have somewhere here. I have the proceedings that were done in Japan. I didn't get but they're making similar magnet to us.
Nebeker:So you got a copy of this because you knew it was relevant to what you were doing.
Nebeker:Getting back to the 605 coils, what was it that was especially significant in your judgment about that job. The size of it is one thing.
Jagger:The big thing that struck us was the size and handling it. The handling is something that requires some special care. Not necessarily about the thing that failed and had to be redone, is handling and making it, and picking the right way to go. It's very embarrassing if half way through, you decide I did it the hard way. I wish I'd have done it another way. We didn't have that feeling. We had the feeling all the way through, we did the job right. The other was aluminum. We had never built an aluminum coil before. I built one. I built an aluminum model of the inner coil for the main ring [???] poles. I'd done that. That was just done as an exercise. It was never followed through. It has to do with the design. You need that much bigger coils in aluminum than you do with copper. So you couldn't make a same size coil and make it do the same job.
Nebeker:Why was aluminum used in 605?
Jagger:I believe because of cost. Ron would know that. He just brought this to me and says, "Have you ever done any?" We went out to Stanford, to Slac and they do a lot of aluminum coil building out there. They were making a big cellanoid, using approximately the same stuff we were going to use. So, I looked at that, and that didn't bother me. It didn't look like it was any more difficult than anything else. So, we decided to go with it. They were using, they were gluing there's up with a glue stage, a room [???] epoxy. Actually a very low temperature, heat cure epoxy. we decided not to do that. I thought it was in our case, too big, too messy. We didn't use too many of their techniques because they were making a cellanoid. A big drum they had to go on the coil. To see how it was done and that. I got a lot of good information, from a fellow, I can't remember his name anymore, about bending aluminum and that sort of said to me, "I think you can do that." And so we did. We went with [???] bending the stuff in a conventional bender as opposed to winding it because of the size. We built it in fish hooks, or handle bars.
Nebeker:Yea. I've seen pictures.
Jagger:You bend it around like this and then back and then you join this at the end. Then you go back around and you join it. You bend handlebars, or fishhooks, whatever you want to call them.
Nebeker:What's the alternative to that?
Jagger:It's winding it. And it's too big to turn a big fixture to wind the stuff. The size. It just wouldn't be practical because I believe the conductor is 2 and 1/2 inches square with a 400 hole in it. That's really big stuff. We looked at different ways of bending too. We looked at wing bending, where you hold it and you push a nose through it and you make a 90 degree bend in it. Wing die since the recorded won't record it, but I'm sure. You have a shoe and this is your bend rays and then you have a pair of rollers and then your material goes across like this and you just push this thing through and this distance is set. This distance is the same as the conductor. They're set so that they can move out. And then it just goes through. And then there are plates on the top and bottom of the container. That's all. It's not hard. That means you have a big end whipping around. We decided to do it with. And you have to move the benders. We decided to do it with a pines bender. The reason we went to superior pipe specialties was that they had done all of the main ring inner coils for the accelerator. They had big 4 inch pines benders. There big forte is bending boiler tubes. If you've ever seen the skeleton of a boiler, it's got three or four drums and they have all these hooking to them. They bend these tubes in their shop and it goes out to the boiler house and it works together, it fits. So, I figured if they could do that, they could bend this. And they did.
Nebeker:You mentioned I've forgotten the fellow's name, who went out to superior?
Jagger:Randy Lenz. He was our representative there. He spent the whole time they were manufacturing these layers, he was there. He's a consultant here at Fermi, but I don't know if he's here today. I mean here at Argonne.
Is that L-e-n-z?
Jagger:Yes. His expertise is in fabrications.
Nebeker:I take it you were also involved in that subcontract?
Jagger:Indeed. The big thing I had is I had to accept the coil. They built it down at Fermi.
Nebeker:So you had responsibility for what's coming out of there?
Jagger:If it didn't fit, it was my fault. I don't know how you'd put it. But having Randy down there, being a friend of mine, besides being a good man, we set up the whole thing. We designed some descent tooling that could measure this thing. I had every confidence that it was alright. In fact the way we insisted it made, was that it be built around itself. You build it as you go. Therefore, if one was wrong, you could add another joint, one of the straight lengths, somewhere and fix it. But if you bent a whole lot of pieces and then put it together. Ron didn't want to buy a lot of extra copper. He didn't buy an awful lot of extra copper. Not copper, aluminum. I'm so used to working with copper. He didn't want a lot of extra conductor, I should say. The conductor was purchased, I think it Arizona. There's an Arizona Aluminum, I think it's called that made, that [???] the aluminum.
Nebeker:So it shipped to superior.
Arizona Aluminum or was done by Kaizer. I can't remember that. We went down to Kaizer to watch them extruding park benches and things like that. [Background]
Nebeker:So, the aluminum is extruded out there, wherever and shipped to superior pipe, bent one at a time and set in place there, to see that it all fits. Then they are sort of stacking this all up at there.
It was built like a clock spring. You start with half of an inner turn then the second half of the inner turn. Then the first half of the outer turn and the next turn, second turn and so on. Then the fixture you built it on, it had end plates that were up on an angle. We had it fixed so we could set it at a specified distance. You made one layer, then when you made the next layer, you moved the one end a prescribed distance. That meant that you could mesh the layer you just made into the one you're going to make. We had to make them at Superior in the same timing that we were going to build it at Fermi. They had to build the longest length first, the longest pancake first, shrink it up, make the next one, make the next one and so on. Then I believe it was reversed when we did the other one, but it doesn't make any difference. This was collaboration between Jim, Randy and I. We had a schedule and we just did it that way.
Nebeker:What about the finances of all of this? You said that all of your time and the time of the other people, [???] department?
Jagger:It was the conventional magnet facility. That's the official title of it.
Nebeker:All the time of people, and I assume all the materials you had to get for this is all charged to 605?
Jagger:Yes. There was a, we had what we called M numbers. the jobs were charged, for instance, the year an object was built, would be M75, would be 00 and then whatever number of job in that year. It could be M75, 0025 then we charged to those numbers. In accounting then switched it over to whatever budget code it was or budgets codes. Because sometimes it's more than one. One could look that up and you could probably get the total run of the job by how long it was charged. The charges starting in the design and then ended in the shipping. You could get the whole thing.
Nebeker:What I’m interested in right here, is how you felt at that time, constrained by how much money was allotted by this. Did you feel you had to cut corners at times, because something else would take precedence.
Jagger:No because I made the estimates. I had a job to do. In the estimates, I...
Nebeker:So they went to you and said, "What' this going to cost?" You made the estimate and they accepted it.
Jagger:Yea. They made ball park estimates and we made better estimates as we knew better the design. I don't know if the job came in on schedule. I think it came in on schedule alright. I'm not so sure if it came in within cost or over cost. I never heard of any big flap.
Nebeker:You didn't feel personally that you had to cut corners to save money?
Jagger:No. You do that, but where there's certain ways and places on coils and magnets that you save money. And there are other places that you don't dare. One is in instance, the tooling you need to make something. There's been several cases of experiments that have gone out and had coils made outside and have had poor tooling. We've had to rebuild things when they came in. That's one of the reasons why we were created, was for those one of a kind jobs. Somebody who will remain nameless, who is a friend of mine, but used to get on me, is that I would make an estimate and if I overrun, he has to pay the overrun. But if he goes to an outside vendor, that's all he pays. But eventually you pay. We never felt that we were under any sort of, maybe I'm answering it wrong. Maybe I should say that we cut corners and saved money. We were more concerned with making the product right. It goes like a lot of magnets and things and coils we made for experiments in those years, if we did a shoddy job, it cost as much to get the thing out and back to us to fix it, as it cost in the first place. You can imagine all the counters, and everything that's there. By the time, you've got that thing out you have spent more money than you would to build it.
Nebeker:So, you were very conscious in doing this. It's got to be perfectly right.
Jagger:You're very careful about trying to keep chips and burrs out of the coils. Redundant with the insulation. You make your joints very strong and some redundancy in them. We were very careful in designing the taps, were made with extra heavy wall tubing. Not just using some tubing that is the right size and it'll work. We want to. So, consequently, the only extra expense is in a few more pounds of aluminum, which is where you would spend the money. It isn't in anything else. To make the pieces or to do the welding would have been the same.
Nebeker: I wanted to ask you what records or papers of any sort, drawings you might have. You personally. I know that the lab keeps.
Jagger:I don't have any. I left it all when I came over here.
Nebeker:so, you wouldn't have any personal correspondence, correspondence with superior pipe. That would all be kept by them.
Jagger:That would all be in the files. I never kept anything. I never did. I kept copies. But when the job was over, I pitched them. We have somewhere at the [???] there's a record of this and a cost and there are some drawing numbers, one could get a, we made a whole packet of drawings for this that one could get for the archives. They're very good drawings. They're done by Lester Bradstreet. He's passed away. He did a first class job on the drawings. There were no major or even very minor changes to the drawings. It was built just like it was designed. We weren't pressured there either. Ron Fast and the people we built this for knew that we were the people to do the design. So they left us pretty much alone. Ron would come by every day or two and check on this and that. He didn't just totally turn us loose. He wanted to know reasons why we did this and why we did that. Of course, we told him. One of the things I think that made the job successful was the fact that nobody told us how to do. We didn't get any amateur people in. Sometimes you welcome that. Criticism fine. Like with our designs for these magnets, I welcomed the accelerator advisory committee, because they're all people that know what you're doing. I appreciate it. It's the person who wants to get their hand in it and then unluckily has enough authority to be able to get his hands in it that gives you fits in jobs like this. For instance Ron, he questioned why we did things. He was satisfied with the answers, and so were his bosses and everybody else. There was no big problem with this.
Nebeker:This is pretty much internal to the magnet facility at Fermilab. I know that this 605 is a big international collaboration with Saclay and Cern and Pioto.
Jagger:The Japanese made an aluminum coil that sits right behind the one we have. It's smaller.
Nebeker:I was just going to ask you if they had any input in your work, your design, or if you had any input in what they did?
Jagger:One ought to go look at the Japanese coil and then compare the American coil. I think we stand up quite well. I think we made a better job.
Nebeker:But those were done independently?
Jagger:I got a feeling the one made in Japan was wound, because the conductor was smaller. Ours was fabricated. That's the difference. I don't mean that any bad way. I just say that one should take a good look at what came from Japan and what we built. You'll see there are qualities every bit as good as theirs if not better.
Nebeker:What about personal photographs?
Jagger:No. I have none. Jim has the whole book. I have some slides here, but no photographs.
Nebeker:Well, slides of building this thing?
Jagger:There are one or two pictures. What those slides are is a general sort of a view of how to make coils. We used a couple of pictures of 605 to show.
Nebeker:I know the photo archive at Fermilab has official photographs.
Jagger:They have lots of them.
Nebeker:I was wondering more about your personal photographs you may have taken?
Jagger:On my own camera. No I didn't take any.
Nebeker:Were you involved in anything else in 605? The other big magnet was the Japanese one.
Jagger:I did coils for E615, interesting because those were copper and they were made from the scrap EGS coils that were here at our lab. We used the radioactive coils and made new coils out of them, instead of burying them in the ground somewhere.
Nebeker:That must have been a tricky operation.
Jagger:That was another innovative way of making coils. I think good. I think that some of our sister laboratories tend to get too fancy. Fermi is more concerned with cost and simplicity of design. I can say that with a clear conscience. Most laboratories make magnets that appear to be more expensive than Fermi's. I don't know if they are or not. They appear to be.
Nebeker:Was there a difference, you felt, from Wilson's leadership, directorship, to Lederman's as far as simplicity and low cost.
Jagger:No, I don't think. Wilson had input, lot's more input that Lederman, but of course Wilson built the machine, Lederman ran it. Lederman, I did some personally for him. We fixed a coil in one of his experiments. He trusted us. He just let us do our job. One thing he did say to me was funny was, when we started one project, with a bunch of accumulator magnets. I was coming to work to a big meeting. We left the [???] and he just looked and me and said, "Well, now it's up to you." It made me feel good and made me wonder at the same time. That's what I meant, was John Teebles, he was the man that ran that [???] accumulator ring program and Fred Mills, he's a physicist, he had a great deal, a lot to do with the magnets. All of those fellah's let us build them. They didn't try to tell us how. It was a very good job, that job. Most of the jobs at Fermi were that way. After the magnet [???] it was established and it was recognized, hey these guys have got the experience, let them do it. We built things, of other peoples design. We built things that we designed. What it amounted to was we had a certain amount of tooling and expertise and a way of doing something. There's two ways, there's three ways of doing something. We had a way we did it, and we set up and we run smoothly that way. They consulted mostly with us, when it came to, this coil, what should it look like, how should it be wound, what kind of insulation would you use and this and that. So, we naturally used the insulation we were familiar with.
Was there a good morale?
Jagger:I think so. Very good. Very good morale. The reason I came here was because of this project, not because I was unhappy.
Nebeker:It seems like it would be more interesting work that the engineering work typically in industry. Something new all the time.
Jagger:Mostly with our work in accelerators is that you do it and it's over with. There's a beginning a middle and an end. So, you make this magnet, and then you move on, you make something else. It isn't like constantly upgrading some product that you have. I'd go crazy doing that I think. I enjoy the challenge of the detailed design. Detail design I classify is after the physicist has determined the pole shape and how he want the magnet. We take it and we create a mechanical shape. It's the same with those coils. Once when Ron decided the number of turns he wanted and how large the conductor should be and all of that, then it's simply a nice design project. That shows several different innovations on the same magnet. It'll look something like that. We were just trying out different design concepts. This one over here, this quad is pretty much firmed up. This is the first thing you do, is you design the pole shape and where the coils, and the size of it. Then you get on with the rest of it. How do you get the water in and out and all of that kind of falls into place.
Nebeker:I really enjoy looking at this, just as decorations, they're beautiful.
Jagger:I put them up, because that's the job's we have to do, and then I think of something and I write it on the drawing, I give them to the guy that made the drawing and then I get a new one. And so I do it. I have little books here of all the different things we're working on. We've got 6 balls in the air at once here and making these magnets. One of the charges and the neat thing is that when I took the job, it was understood that we're going to build as much as this in the industry as we can. And we're really trying to do that. In that case, you have to, when you're designing these magnets, there has to be some parallel designs so that you can save money by using some of the same equipment, some of the same fittings. Within a big experiment like the 605, it's also unique. You don't worry about that. You're only making one, so if your fittings cost 10% more than they ought to, it doesn't matter because there's not that many of them. It's relatively easy to make up your mind which way to go. When in designing, 400 of one kind of magnet, you want to be careful what you've chosen. That's where the pressure comes in for cutting corners, not cutting corners, but trying to save money and still make a quality thing.
Nebeker:You have to be as efficient as possible. Thank you very much. I need to ask if we have permission to use this interview as part of the AIP study.
Nebeker:Second thing is that we'd like at the conclusion of our study, which should go on another three years or so, to put all of these transcripts in the AIP Oral History Archives, if we have your permission to do so.
Nebeker:Thank you very much.