March 17, 2024 at 2:45 am

China Has Created A Massive Dark Matter Lab 7,800 Feet Underneath A Mountain

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Dark Matter Stock photos by Vecteezy

I don’t think anyone in the West – or maybe in the majority of the world – likes to hear that China has created a lab capable of pursuing work related to experimental dark matter.

It just kind of sounds like the start of an Avengers movie or something.

The newly expanded facility is nestled 7,800 feet beneath the Jinping Mountains, and will allow scientists to study dark matter – the substance scientists believe makes up around 80% of the mass in the universe.

Until now, researchers have been unable to directly observe dark matter, as they believe it is unable to interact with other matter or reflect or absorb light.

Source: Dark Matter Stock photos by Vecteezy

Cue the next “arms” race, I suppose – one that China aims to come out in front.

The China Jinping Underground Laboratory is the largest and deepest underground lab in the world, surpassing the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso in Italy.

The goal is for the scientists inside to be able to search without the interference of cosmic rays.

Physicist Marco Selvi says that trying to detect dark matter on Earth is “like trying to hear the tiny voice of a child inside a stadium where everybody’s shouting.”

The scientists in China are working with a 4-metric-ton liquid xenon detector called PandaX-4T.

They are hoping to see dark matter particles collide with a xenon atom – an event that should put off enough light to show up on the photosensors.

Source: Meng et al

PandaX-4T team member Ning Zhou says they are really excited about it, too.

“With better sensitivity, we can play with the detector and test the different types of interactions.”

They have a different detector, the China Dark Matter Experiment, that scientists are hoping to use to pick up signs of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles, as well.

So, the race is on, and it seems as if China has a pretty big head start.

Which was, I’m guessing, exactly their plan.

If you think that’s impressive, check out this story about a “goldmine” of lithium that was found in the U.S. that could completely change the EV battery game.