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Dark matter – China Jinping Underground Laboratory (CJPL) opens new halls

December 31, 2015 - CHINA

The international race to explain the nature of dark matter in the Universe intensifies at the end of 2015 when China completes four cavernous halls to scale-up experiments at the China Jinping Underground Laboratory (CJPL).

CJPL, under Jinping Mountain in Sichuan Province, celebrates its 5th birthday in the same month. It is the deepest physics lab in the world.

Scientists have come up with the theoretical composition of the Universe as 68 per cent dark energy, 27 per cent dark matter and 5 per cent normal matter such as visible elements like stars. According to Science Magazine, which reported the CJPL project, deeper is better in the hunt for dark matter.

Over 7,800 feet (2400 metres) of rock separates the CJPL from the surface under Jinping Mountain in Sichuan Province. China has been able to build the experimental facility at relatively low cost because it is co-ordinating the tunnel-drilling with a massive hydropower project in the same mountain.

NASA says scientists are more certain of what dark matter is than what it is not.

Spain and Italy are among other countries with a head start in the hunt for dark matter.

China supersizes its underground physics lab (Science Magazine 28 Nov 2014)

Dark energy, dark matter (NASA)

Date written/update: 2015-03-05