Below the Earth’s surface nearly half-a-kilometre down, Indian physicists have established their own laboratory. Dark matter is responsible for holding the galaxies together. The quest for answers relating to dark matter is the main aim of the laboratory. This is India’s first venture in this field of science.
WHAT IS DARK MATTER
Dark matter is said to have been composed of particles like axions or weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPS). The WIMPS has more than hundred times the mass of a proton but they cannot be detected owing to their weak interactions with the normal matter.
Even though not much is known about the dark matter, it said that the dark matter isn’t made up of baryon particles. This is said because if it had been made of baryon particles, then the scientists would have been able to detect the absorption of radiation occurring.
Despite having no evidence, it is considered that the dark mark is celestial glue type material which binds the entire universe together.
INDIA’S FIRST LABORATORY- THE SEARCH FOR DARK MATTER BEGINS
To search for the dark matter, the scientists need to carry out their experiments underground. It is done so to provide a shield against cosmic rays and other radiation. The new laboratory is located in an underground uranium mine at Jadugoda, Jharkhand which lies 150 km away from Ranchi. This mine is India’s first uranium mine which has yielded 400 tonnes of uranium so far.
The scientists from Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata are the ones in charge of the project. The laboratory was set up at 20 lakhs. The laboratory has high-security entrance where a lift is used for entering the underground lab. It takes around three minutes to reach the mine and the laboratory lies within the reach of a short walk.
The director of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, Nigel Lockyer believes that the time is right for India to use their best talents for the project. Indian physicists have been striving to compete with the foreign labs and come up with their own. The search for dark matter is very important in understanding the basic fundamentals of the universe.
The scientists are planning for the installation of a low-temperature caesium iodide detector in its search for the dark matter. This is India’s first attempt in searching for the dark matter.