Gold mine lab explores dark matter secrets

The greatest mystery in the universe could be unraveled a mile underground in a gold mine in the country of Victoria.

Dark matter is a material that makes up 85% of the cosmos, but what it is exactly and how it works remains unknown.

It is hoped that a high-tech laboratory to open on Friday at the Stawell Gold Mine will lead to the detection of dark matter within five years and allow scientists to one day unravel its secrets.

“We don’t know what most of the universe is made of, so understanding dark matter is understanding the universe,” said Professor Elisabetta Barberio, lead researcher at the University of Melbourne.

“Without dark matter, we wouldn’t have galaxies, we wouldn’t exist.

“There are several thousand dark matter particles passing through us.

“So there is this whole universe around us that we don’t see and we would like to know what it is.”

In the coming months, an eight meter high steel case weighing 200 tons will be installed at the mine, containing cylindrical crystals and liquid that will be used to carry out the study.

A similar SABER project is also underway in an underground laboratory in northern Italy, to ensure that both are recording accurate results.

‘We have to repeat the experiments in the southern hemisphere, because we want to exclude any possibility that the signal is due to noises related to the season or the place they are in,’ said Professor Barberio.

The Commonwealth and Victorian governments have each invested $ 5 million in the $ 12 million Stawell facility, which will begin major work early next year.

Victoria’s Minister of Regional Development Harriet Shing said it would put Stawell at the center of cutting-edge science.

“(It) will draw the world’s eyes to this golden city and create local jobs, while stimulating investment opportunities for the region,” Ms. Shing said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *