Experiment in South Dakota gold mine could help detect dark matter
Scientists suggest that an experiment located at the bottom of a gold mine in South Dakota, US, could offer the best chance yet of detecting dark matter.
They believe that this substance makes up more than a quarter of the cosmos, yet no-one has ever seen it directly.
Early results from this detector, which is called LUX, confirmed it was the most powerful experiment of its kind, the BBC reported.
In the coming weeks, it will begin a 300-day-long run that could provide the first direct evidence of these enigmatic particles.
For more than 100 years, this was the daily commute for the Homestake miners searching for gold buried deep in the rocks.
Today, the subterranean caverns and tunnels have been transformed into a high-tech physics laboratory.
Scientists now make the 1.5km (1-mile) journey underground in an attempt to solve one of the biggest mysteries in science.
Inside a cavern in the mine, the detector is situated inside a stainless steel tank that is two storeys high.
This is filled with about 300,000 litres (70,000 gallons) of ultra-purified water, which means it is free from traces of naturally occurring radioactive elements that could also interfere with the results.
(Posted on 10-04-2014)