Huge underground search for mysterious dark matter begins

Scientists have begun searching for dark matter in a former gold mine, located a mile underground.

NewsEditor
NewsEditor
07 July 2022 Thursday 17:25
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Huge underground search for mysterious dark matter begins

Scientists have begun searching for dark matter in a former gold mine, located a mile underground. They found it in a titanium tank containing a rare liquified liquid.

Scientists believe that the invisible stuff is responsible for most of the universe's mass. They also claim we wouldn't exist without it. But they don't know how to find it. One team has been tasked with solving this huge mystery, and they are currently under Lead in South Dakota.

Scientists have a basic question, Kevin Lesko, a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory physicist, says. "What is this wonderful place that I live in?" It is currently 95% mystery.

It is believed that a mile of dirt, rock, a giant tank and a second tank with the highest purity titanium will block almost all cosmic rays and particles that fly around and through us all every day. Scientists believe dark matter particles can overcome all these obstacles. One will be able to fly into the inner tank of liquid xenon and smash into a nucleus of xenon, much like two balls in a game. This flash of light is seen by "the time projection chamber" which reveals its existence.

Scientists announced Thursday that the $60 million, five-year search for the COVID-19 pandemic had finally begun two months ago. The device has so far found... nothing. There is at least no dark matter.

They say that's okay. It appears that the equipment is filtering out the majority of background radiation they were trying to block. Carter Hall, University of Maryland physicist, stated that in order to search for this rare interaction, the first step is to get rid of all of those ordinary sources of radiation which could overwhelm the experiment.

If all their theories and calculations are correct, they expect to see only a few fleeting signs of dark matter per year. They expect to receive 20 times more data in the next few years, according to 250 scientists.

Hugh Lippincott, who was a physicist, said that the chances of finding dark matter using this device are "probably less than half" and "more than 10%" by the end of the experiment. He spoke at a Thursday news conference.

Although it's not a certain thing, Lesko of Lawrence Berkeley said that "you need some enthusiasm." You can't go into rare-search physics without the hope of finding something.

Two Depression-era hoists in imposing form operate an elevator that takes scientists to the LUXZEPLIN experiment at the Sanford Underground Research Facility. The tunnel is a 10-minute descent that ends in a cool-to-the touch tunnel lined with netting. The old mine is soon replaced by a modern lab, where contamination and dirt are the enemies. The helmets are replaced with newer, cleaner ones. A double layer of baby-blue booties is added to steel-toed safety shoes.

In the December 2019 tour, Jeff Cherwinka, lead engineer of the experiment, stated that the cryostat is the heart of the experiment. The device had been closed and filled before Cherwinka spoke. It is "like a thermos", made from "perhaps the purest Titan in the world", and designed to keep liquid xenon cool and minimize background radiation.

Aaron Manalaysay explained that Xenon is a special particle because it allows scientists to determine if a collision has occurred with one of its electrons, or its nucleus. He said that if something hits the nucleus it is more likely to contain the dark matter everyone is searching for.

The scientists conducted a smaller, similar experiment years ago. They decided to do something bigger after coming up empty. A second large-scale experiment in Italy is being conducted by a rival team. However, no results have been reported.

Scientists are working to discover why the universe isn't what it seems.

Dark matter is one part of the mystery. It accounts for the vast majority of the mass in our universe. It's easy to see why astronomers believe it exists. They measure the stars and other regular material in galaxies and find that there isn't enough gravity to keep these clusters connected. Manalaysay stated that if there was nothing else, galaxies could "fly apart quickly."

Manalaysay stated, "It is virtually impossible to understand our observation history, of evolutionary cosmos,"

Lippincott, University of California Santa Barbara physicist, stated that "we wouldn't be here without dark matter."

There is little doubt that dark matter exists. However, there are many questions about its nature. It is believed to be WIMPs, weakly interconnected massive particles.

LUX-ZEPLIN may be able detect them if that is the case. Lippincott stated that we want to discover "where the wimps could be hiding".

Keywords:
Physics
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