Far below the Black Hills of South Dakota in the United States, the world’s deepest underground science lab is currently being built. The lab, which is being done at a depth equivalent to more than six Empire State buildings, seems like a place uniquely suited to the quest of scientists for mysterious particles known as dark matter.
The South Dakota lab, 4,850 foot below the surface of an old gold mine that was once known as the site of Nobel Prize-winning physics research, is known as the Sanford lab project.
The site is ideal because its location is largely shielded from the cosmic rays that could interfere with efforts to prove the existence of dark matter, thought to make up nearly a quarter of the mass of the universe.
The deepest reaches of the mine can plunge to 8,000 feet below the surface. Some initial geology and hydrology experiments are already underway at 4,850 feet.
Scientists hope to open the lab by 2016.