A mile down in an abandoned gold mine in South Dakota, physicists in a state-of-the-art scientific laboratory are searching for elusive “dark matter” particles, which make up most of the mass in our universe.
So far, no one has ever seen dark matter directly. You can’t see it, touch it, smell it, throw a net over it, or tag it in the ways particle physicists deal with ordinary particles. We only know it by its gravitational effects on galaxies.
On Wednesday, team members from LUX — for Large Underground Xenon experiment — announced the first results from their operation in the Sanford Underground Research Facility, deep in the former Homestake Mine in Lead, South Dakota — where for three months they have been taking an 11-minute, 4,850 foot elevator ride down a mine shaft to work in their lab.