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Work begins on world's deepest underground lab

Posted by on Jun. 22, 2009 at 9:00 PM
  • 18 Replies

Do you think something like this is a waste of money?

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Far below the Black Hills of South Dakota, crews are building the world's deepest underground science lab at a depth equivalent to more than six Empire State buildings — a place uniquely suited to scientists' quest for mysterious particles known as dark matter.

Scientists, politicians and other officials gathered Monday for a groundbreaking of sorts at a lab 4,850 foot below the surface of an old gold mine that was once the site of Nobel Prize-winning physics research.

The site is ideal for experiments because its location is largely shielded from cosmic rays that could interfere with efforts to prove the existence of dark matter, which is thought to make up nearly a quarter of the mass of the universe.

The deepest reaches of the mine plunge to 8,000 feet below the surface. Some early geology and hydrology experiments are already under way at 4,850 feet. Researchers also hope to build two deeper labs that are still awaiting funding from Congress.

"The fact that we're going to be in the Davis Cavern just tickles us pink," said Tom Shutt of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, referring to a portion of the mine named after scientist Ray Davis Jr., who used it in the 1960s to demonstrate the existence of particles called solar neutrinos.

Davis and a colleague named John Bahcall won a share of the 2002 Nobel Prize for physics for their work.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090622/ap_on_sc/us_sci_underground_science

by on Jun. 22, 2009 at 9:00 PM
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Replies (1-10):
tericared
by on Jun. 22, 2009 at 10:33 PM

I am surprised with everyone complaining about how money is being spent and wasted that no one has an opinion about this.. 

stormcris
by Christy on Jun. 22, 2009 at 10:48 PM

No it is not a waste of money they are seeking the answer to cold fusion and a few other deep mysterious that could be the ultimate answer to energy needs.

tericared
by on Jun. 22, 2009 at 10:58 PM

 The first dark matter experiment will be the Large Underground Xenon detector experiment — or LUX — a project to detect weakly interacting particles that could give scientists greater insight into the Big Bang explosion believed to have formed the universe.

this really does show to have anything to do with energy,,,,,,, dark matter and no atoms, does not equal energy alturnitives..

stormcris
by Christy on Jun. 22, 2009 at 11:14 PM

See cold fusion has everything to do with what they perceive to be the big bang explosion. Dark matter is the most highly compressed form of energy available together with what is known as dark energy. Cold dark matter is thought by some to be the answer to cold fusion. Here is a sort of explaination of the concept:

http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/DAMOP09/Event/103382

Quoting tericared:

 The first dark matter experiment will be the Large Underground Xenon detector experiment — or LUX — a project to detect weakly interacting particles that could give scientists greater insight into the Big Bang explosion believed to have formed the universe.

this really does show to have anything to do with energy,,,,,,, dark matter and no atoms, does not equal energy alturnitives..


Cathy1983km
by on Jun. 22, 2009 at 11:38 PM

Great! Other than the Hadron collider thing, its one more thing they know nothing about that they can kill us with! Yay! Ok not really yay. Are we really meant to know everything? This is just one of those things that need to be dropped and left alone.


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tericared
by on Jun. 22, 2009 at 11:42 PM

 but can there be energy without atoms?

Shutt, along with Brown University's Rick Gaitskell and nearly a dozen collaborators will work at the site to search for dark matter, which does not emit detectable light or radiation. But scientists say its presence can be inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter.

Scientists believe most of the dark matter in the universe contains no atoms and does not interact with ordinary matter through electromagnetic forces. They are trying to discover exactly what it is, how much exists and what effect it may have on the future of the universe.

Physicists have said that without dark matter, galaxies might never have formed. By learning more about dark matter, they hope to understand better whether the universe is expanding or contracting.

Cathy1983km
by on Jun. 22, 2009 at 11:51 PM

But why do we need to know if the universe is expanding or contracting? Why is this important? (I just want to know..?)


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tericared
by on Jun. 23, 2009 at 12:08 AM


Quoting Cathy1983km:

But why do we need to know if the universe is expanding or contracting? Why is this important? (I just want to know..?)


I want to know why it is important also,  I dont buy the whole research for energy thing, the article states why they are doing it and it has nothing to do with energy..

stormcris
by Christy on Jun. 23, 2009 at 12:09 AM


There is a flaw in that statement in the fact that scientist do not know what causes the gravitational effects or pressures associated with dark matter. Most scientist do not believe that dark matter contains no atoms in fact it is thought to be highly condensed atoms molecules and sub atomic particles.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/dark-matter.htm

Quoting tericared:

 but can there be energy without atoms?

Shutt, along with Brown University's Rick Gaitskell and nearly a dozen collaborators will work at the site to search for dark matter, which does not emit detectable light or radiation. But scientists say its presence can be inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter.

Scientists believe most of the dark matter in the universe contains no atoms and does not interact with ordinary matter through electromagnetic forces. They are trying to discover exactly what it is, how much exists and what effect it may have on the future of the universe.

Physicists have said that without dark matter, galaxies might never have formed. By learning more about dark matter, they hope to understand better whether the universe is expanding or contracting.


Cathy1983km
by on Jun. 23, 2009 at 12:11 AM

Yeah I don't buy it either... things like this are just scary to me. I really worry that our world is so advanced, and while its a good thing for the most part, its still scary thinking someone could do something bad with it.... ugh. I don't even like to watch the news anymore, there is so much that just freaks me out! The Economy, Iran, North Korea, bombs, the president, jobs..... I wonder sometimes what was I thinking when I decided to have children? Sorry, just freaked out by everything, not trying to hijack the post, promise :)


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