Underground lab closer to detecting dark matter - KOTA Territory News

Underground lab closer to detecting dark matter

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The Sanford Underground Laboratory in Lead, South Dakota is one step closer to detecting dark matter. The Large Underground Xenon  experiment or 'LUX', will be the most sensitive device yet to look for dark matter. The LUX detector was installed in July 4,850 feet underground in a protective tank.

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology physicist Dr. Xinhau Bai says the discovery of dark matter is crucial.

"Dark matter is very important because it turns out the universe actually consists of 80% of dark matter okay, whatever we see, we can feel, we can detect," said Dr. Bai. "These days only about 20% of the total mass of the universe. So imagine there's a huge amount of substance there we don't quite understand."

The 70,000 gallon tank was filled with water last week, and all systems are functioning well. Scientists will now test the experiment's complex electronics a process that's expected to take weeks.

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