Mining for Missing Matter

In underground lairs, physicists look for the dark stuff

By Ron Cowen, 14:41 PM August 12, 2010

On an early summer morning in northern Minnesota, a crew of about a dozen waits by the top of mine shaft No. 8. Donning hard hats, the engineers and physicists pile into a creaky, double-decker elevator cage. It is pitch black for most of the three-minute descent. Ears pop, the cage floor vibrates and a giant motor dating from 1925 thunders overhead.

When the cage door slides open, the team is 713 meters below the surface. Directly ahead lies a maze of tunnels — an abandoned mine where labo...

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