29 Jan '14, 3pm

Deepest Underground Dark-Matter Detector to Start Up in China

Deepest Underground Dark-Matter Detector to Start Up in China

Photo: Scott Stephenson King Under The Mountain: In the PandaX experiment, a vat of liquid xenon is stored beneath hundreds of meters of rock. With luck, the isolation will keep things quiet enough to sense signs of dark matter. In the heart of a mountain in China’s Sichuan province, underneath 2400 meters of stone, researchers are powering up the most ambitious effort yet to directly detect some of the strangest stuff in the universe: dark matter. Early this year, the PandaX (Particle and Astrophysical Xenon) experiment will start collecting data in hopes of finding evidence of the elusive particles, thought to constitute more than 80 percent of the matter in the universe. Physicists first hypothesized the existence of dark matter to explain the “missing mass” problem—the fact that galaxies have a greater gravitational effect than their visible matter can explain. The cur...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/astrophysics/deepest-u...

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