Theory Group Visitors Guide

Getting here

Most people fly into O'Hare or Midway. The former is slightly closer, and both are about a one hour drive from Fermilab (depending on the time of the day and on the weather). You can either take a limo to Fermilab or rent a car. Some of the information below can also be found on the Fermilab Visitor Info page.

Limo: Fermilab usually deals with West Suburban Limousine Service (they are familiar with Fermilab, etc.). Reservations should be made in advance. Unless Lois or Laura makes one for you, call 1-800-345-LIMO from out of state or 630-668-9600 locally. For pickup instructions after your arrival at either airport, call 1-800-942-LIMO. Taking a limo is a reasonable option if you stay on site (about $35 one way).

Driving: All major rental companies are located at the airports. ACE (1-800-243-3443) has a special Fermilab rate which includes some insurance (check), so may be the best choice for certain people. The Chicago area traffic conditions might give you a feeling for the traffic.

Directions: Look at the directions to Fermilab before departure and the maps on the same page. Here is a more useful map including hotel locations and freeways. While the previous page tells you to use the West entrance of the Lab from the Farnsworth Ave exit of I-88, you can save some time (and 30 cents) by using the East entrance. Driving West on I-88, take the Route 59 exit North, and travel about 2 miles. Turn left (West) onto Batavia Rd (there's a Shell gas station on the corner), and after about 0.8 miles you get to the Lab.
Once you are here, you can pick up street maps from the Users Office (NW corner on the ground floor).

Gates: Fermilab is open to the public for sightseeing purposes every day from 6am to 8pm. During these hours you can enter and exit with a ticket obtained at the gate. The Lab is open for business purposes (visitors, speakers, conference attendees, etc.) 24 hours a day. After 8pm call the Communication Center via the intercom to request access.

Lodging: On-site accommodation is located in the Fermilab Village. Besides apartments and houses reserved for long-term residents, dormitory-type rooms are available. Reservations may be made through the Housing Office at 630-840-3777 or by email at The Housing Office in Aspen East is open 8am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday. If you arrive after these hours, you can pick up your key at the Communication Center in the basement of the highrise (Wilson Hall). (If you are coming with a limo, have them drive you to the highrise, and back to the village after you have picked up your key.) For off-site accommodation pick from the "official" Fermilab list.

Getting around

Unless your activities are restricted to the Lab, you need a car (as much as in Los Angeles). If you do not have a car for your entire stay then the Users Office rents a few, or Enterprise just outside the Lab on Rt.59 (836-8100) has decent Fermilab rates. There is a free on-site taxi service (call x4225), but it is only available from 8am to 4:30pm. If you are staying in the village, a bike can be quite useful (the housing office has several and the group has one as well - reserve it long in advance). And even if you have a car, it may be more convenient sometimes to take the train to Chicago, see the Metra schedules (Aurora or Geneva lines).

Dining: Unless you want to go to downtown Chicago, keep in mind that you're not in New York or San Francisco... The immediate vicinity of the Lab offers limited variety and quality, but within 5-10 miles there are some decent options. Look at Sec.4.1 of the grad students' Guide to Life at Fermilab. Another place to start is the Chicago Reader's Restaurant Finder.

If you are spending a longer time here, don't miss the Art Institute, go to the Symphony, listen to some Blues, etc. Check out the Reader's weekly Guide to Arts & Entertainment.

If you just moved here, the Guide to Life at Fermilab mentioned above may be useful to browse.

Getting work done

Computing: Except for exceptional circumstances, accounts on the Theory Group's computers are restricted to members of the group. The system is fairly nice, although it might take you some time to figure this out... By default, the pc's run linux, but you can reboot them in Win98 if desperate (never do this on thpc02; and on any other machine first make sure using top or ps auxr that no jobs of other users are running). If you use an xterm and confused, ask which machine you should connect to. The names of the computers are printed on them (thpc## on most pc's and fnth## on most xterms) and their full internet address is

There are several guest accounts on the pc's, passwords can be obtained from Lois. Do not use these accounts after leaving Fermilab, i.e., transfer your files to your home computer and discard your copy of the password when you leave. Do not change the password or the mail forwarding.

All users are bound by the Fermilab Policy on Computing. Read it if you are bored. Bottom line: use ssh / scp instead of telnet / rlogin / ftp whenever possible, and don't count on any privacy.

Printing: You probably want to use one of the following
lpr -Pwh3e_hp5si_double filename Prints duplex on East side laser printer
lpr -Pwh3e_hp5si_single filename Prints one-sided on East side laser printer
lpr -Pwh3e_tekclr filename Prints on East side color printer
lpr -Pwh3e_tekclr_trans filename Prints on East side color printer on transparencies
Replace wh3e_hp5si by wh3w_hp5si and wh3e_tekclr by wh3w_colorps to print on the West side.

Software: Most common software is installed on all computers. Mathematica runs only on thpc02, so you need to log in to this machine to use it. RevTeX is installed on thpc07 and thpc17 (at least). Form is installed on thpc01. Parts of Cernlib may exist on some machines...

Xerox, Fax, Phone: The Xerox machines on the E and W sides require codes, ask Lois. There is also a machine in the Library (no code required). The theory group fax number is 630-840-5435. For calls outside Fermilab, dial 9-(local number) or 9-1-(area code)-(number).

Theory Seminars Thursdays (and sometimes Tuesdays) at 2:30pm in Curia II (2nd floor SW)
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Seminars Fridays at 4:00pm in 1 West
Colloquia Wednesdays at 4:00pm in 1 West
Astro Seminars Mondays at 2:30pm in Curia II
Weekly Lab-wide Calendar
Links to the U.Chicago and Argonne seminars are on the theory group homepage.

Back to the Theory Group homepage Disclaimer: The content of this page is not official Fermilab information. Your milage may vary...
Last modified: 9/12/99
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