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Work begins on world's deepest underground lab

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posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 05:22 PM

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.

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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.

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All images and text courtesy of

Very nice, was shocked this is so deep underground, nearly a mile, actually more in some areas! Hopefully physicist will now be able to make some real progress on dark matter and maybe silence the ever insurging Electric Universe Theory. This will not be up and running until 2016 so we will all have to wait a little bit,lol assuming we are still here after 2012! Anyways I thought this was some pretty cool and important news in the physics world so I thought I would post a quick bit about it.

[edit on 6/23/2009 by jkrog08]

posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 05:31 PM
I remember in 2001 when the pumps were turned off and it began to flood again. I didn't realize that proponents of turning the mine into a neutrino detector were so persistent and eventually prevailed. Thanks so much for the info this is great news!

posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 05:52 PM
What a load of bull crap, why are they doing this i wonder?

There are many mines like this around the World and here's one in Russia, that was operational in circa 1978. Their website is here.

So perhaps they discovered neutrinos many years ago and have developed some secret tech from it, so the US mine is trying to catch up.

p.s. no wonder it will take so long, that poor guy with the drill has his work cut out

posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 06:28 PM
thats some intresting data, im a sucker for anything thats going deeper than we have ever been before... 8000 feet is very impressive, that breaks the 1 mile barrier (only 1 mile!)

but, alas, thats a mere scratch in the surface of the crust, 8000 ft is a mile and a bit, a mile is 5,280 feet (statute mile) (or approximately 6,076 feet in a nautical mile) and the earths crust is (on average) 27 miles deep, but this ranges from a few miles deep to 70 miles depending where you are with the deep ocean floor being the few and up a mountain being the many.

its still impressive, i read a few weeks ago we have only ever drilled to a few miles down!

keep on digging dudes, soon they'll be in australia!

posted on Jun, 24 2009 @ 12:11 AM
dark matter. . . . particles to heavy to detect being sought out in a mine. . . hasnt this been done already

The Soudan Underground Laboratory is a general-purpose science facility, which provides the deep underground environment required by a variety of sensitive experiments. The Lab currently hosts two large projects: MINOS, which investigates elusive and poorly understood particles called neutrinos; and CDMS II, a "dark-matter" experiment which may help explain how galaxies are formed. Both were built for basic research - exploring how the universe works - but similar efforts have spawned practical (if unforeseen) byproducts, including the world-wide web and even advanced medical imaging techniques.
What is a neutrino?

A neutrino is a tiny particle similar to an electron but without its electric charge. Neutrinos are produced by natural radioactive decay and inside the sun and other stars. They don't interact very often with normal matter, but MINOS can still teach us how they behave, and how important they are to the rest of the universe.

What is "dark matter"?

Actually, no one really knows! What we do know (from astronomical observations) is that there is a lot of dark matter around - perhaps 90% or more of the material in the universe. We can't see it, but we know it's there from the gravitational force it exerts. Neutrinos may make up part of the dark matter, but another possibility is very heavy (so-far undiscovered) particles nicknamed "WIMPs" (Weakly-Interacting Massive Particles). CDMS II searches for WIMPs that may have been produced shortly after the,"Big Bang," the cataclysmic explosion that formed the universe some 15 billion years ago.

we've been looking. . . . and looking. . . and looking

so we think going deeper will solve the problem

when do you stop looking and start thinking of a new solution to the problem. . . .

big budget science is great and all but this seems a little over-killish

posted on Jun, 24 2009 @ 10:01 AM

Originally posted by PrisonerOfSociety
p.s. no wonder it will take so long, that poor guy with the drill has his work cut out

Hmmm....Five supervisors and one "grunt". These guys must work for the Highway Deparment

posted on Jun, 24 2009 @ 10:37 AM
reply to post by constantwonder

If the best theory on universal creation they can come up with is an inter-dimensional cold fusion explosion, they need to go back to the drawing board. "Infinite density" requires dividing by zero which makes the math unacceptable IMO especially since this infinite density must then be divided into numerous bodies of finite density and energy.

Honestly, I think its just a matter of pride at this point. How often does somebody admit a big mistake let alone one that they themselves have perpetuated for decades? I'm glad they are making these labs because they will slowly but surely find proof of error in their theories. Of course, they will be too blind to see it but luckily an outside party will set everything straight for them.

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