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China Unveils World's Deepest Underground Lab for Dark Matter Research
The inauguration of the Deep Underground and Ultra-low Radiation Background Facility for Frontier Physics Experiments in China is a remarkable achievement that promises to revolutionize our understanding of dark matter and contribute to the advancement of various scientific disciplines.
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China Unveils World's Deepest Underground Lab for Dark Matter Research
by Simon Mansfield
Sydney, Australia (SPX) Dec 08, 2023

A groundbreaking underground laboratory has commenced operations in Southwest China's Sichuan province. The Deep Underground and Ultra-low Radiation Background Facility for Frontier Physics Experiments (DURF) is set to become a hub for cutting-edge scientific investigations, particularly in the pursuit of understanding dark matter.

This major facility, located beneath Jinping Mountain in Sichuan's Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture, reaches an astounding depth of 2,400 meters, establishing itself as the world's deepest and largest underground lab. Scientists are enthusiastic about the opportunities it presents.

The DURF's primary objective is to provide an environment free from interference for researchers studying dark matter, an elusive substance that constitutes a substantial portion of the universe's mass. One of the key advantages of its extreme depth is its ability to shield experiments from cosmic rays, which can disrupt observations.

Yue Qian, a professor at Tsinghua University, emphasized the significance of this location. "Thanks to its location, the DURF is exposed to a tiny flux of cosmic rays, which is only one hundred-millionth of that on the Earth's surface," he stated. This unique feature will greatly enhance the precision of dark matter detection experiments conducted within the facility.

Dark matter remains one of the most enigmatic components of the universe. While visible matter accounts for a mere 5 percent of the cosmos, dark matter and dark energy together constitute the remaining 95 percent. Understanding dark matter is crucial for unraveling the mysteries of the universe's structure and evolution.

The DURF is expected to play a pivotal role in advancing our knowledge in this area. Already, the facility has attracted the attention of ten research teams from leading Chinese universities and institutions, including Tsinghua University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. These teams are now stationed at the DURF, poised to conduct groundbreaking scientific experiments.

Beyond its significance for particle physics and dark matter research, the DURF is set to become a comprehensive interdisciplinary deep underground scientific research center. It will encompass various scientific disciplines, including nuclear astrophysics and life sciences. Professor Yue Qian believes that the facility will "facilitate the development of China's research in relevant frontier fields."

The DURF's completion marks a significant milestone in China's pursuit of scientific excellence. It is the second phase of the China Jinping Underground Laboratory, a project jointly undertaken by Tsinghua University and the Yalong River Hydropower Development Company Ltd. The first phase of the lab, completed in 2010, has already achieved considerable success in dark matter direct detection experiments, positioning China as a leader in this field.

Based on a Xinhua News Agency article

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