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 Searching for Dark Matter in the Homestake Gold Mine

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Cassidy Mozak



Number of posts : 46
Registration date : 2012-02-03

PostSubject: Searching for Dark Matter in the Homestake Gold Mine   Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:07 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18273140

In 2002, a scientist Ray Davis was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in detecting and measuring properties of Neutrinos in a cavern over 4800 feet below the Earth's Surface. This cavern was previously a portion of the Homestake Gold Mine in Lead, South Dakota. Now over 50 years later, scientists are trying to expand our knowledge of this dark matter by returning to the place that Davis set up his lab. The Sanford Underground Research Facility is set to open this month, its main purpose being to search for this dark matter. Scientists believe this matter is neutral and is able to interect gravitationally. They believe that understanding this dark matter more indepth will also allow us to understand the formation of galaxies. The advanatge of doing the research underground is that it eliminates the background activity of cosmic rays and light pollution that could alter experimental results. Two major initial experiments are set to be conducted at this facility. The first involves measuring the flashes oif light created when dark matter interacts with other particles and the second involves radioactive decays. Hopefully this method of gaining information on dark matter will be effective and enable us to begin understanding our universe at a more advanced level.

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Belinda Ongaro



Number of posts : 32
Registration date : 2012-02-02

PostSubject: Re: Searching for Dark Matter in the Homestake Gold Mine   Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:47 am

Traveling 4800 ft underground to conduct experiments regarding the elusive particle, dark matter, inferred to exist in abundance in space, appears to pose a conflict, but this is in fact the best way to perform a controlled study. This is due to the fact that cosmic rays and light pollution are expected to drastically reduce the accuracy of the experiments if performed above ground. As Cassidy expressed, we hope to gain greater insight into this confounding matter (pun intended) by means of the experiments scientist intend to carry out in the Sanford Underground Research Facility. What we know about dark matter is limited, but if we knew all of the answers science would have no reason to advance, therefore we should value the questions that have served to spark progress as well.
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