The most sensitive dark matter detector was set at an abandoned mine


14/07/2012

The most sensitive detector of dark matter in the world, Friday was set in an abandoned gold mine.

When he starts collecting data, the scientists believe, you can expect a breakthrough in the research of the universe, on the scale comparable to the recent furor on the occasion of the opening of the so-called "God particle."

"The discovery of dark matter is a much more complex problem," - said Tom Shutt, a physics professor at Case Western Reserve University, working on a large Underground Xenon detector or BOD.

"If we find it, it will become much more serious shift in our understanding of physics." Earlier this month, scientists announced the discovery of the existence of the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle that plays an important role in giving other particles mass. It is sometimes called the "God particle" because it played a key role in the early evolution of the universe.

Dark matter - it is difficult to detect the substance of which, according to scientists, is 25% of the universe. Its existence has been defined by the gravitational pull, but unlike ordinary matter, it can not be seen. Opening the dark matter, scientists will be able to explain why the universe is not composed of 50% of matter and 50% of antimatter. This, in turn, explain how did this world.

Underground Research Laboratory in Sanford was introduced in May. It will be located in an abandoned gold mine in South Dakota, in the Black Hills. The mine has been chosen for the reason that dark matter is too sensitive to detect it on the surface of the Earth.

By placing BOD deep underground, dark matter, scientists shielded from interference caused by cosmic radiation, which may prevent its detection. Moving the three-ton probe took a lot of time and effort. He was placed in protective foam and plastic, and part of the way into the ground has been done on the pneumatic bearing to eliminate even the slightest shaking. "We are very alarmed," said Professor of Physics at Yale University, Dan McKinsey. "We’re always worried that something could not foresee."

The sensor can start collecting data in early December. "We’re trying to figure out what are the basic components of the universe," - said Schutt.

Original: Phys.org


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