Construction crews have now started building the deepest underground science laboratory in the world, which scientists will use to study dark matter.
“The fact that we’re going to be in the Davis Cavern just tickles us pink,” Case Western Reserve University researcher Tom Shutt told the Associated Press. The cavern used to be a gold mine that has been abandoned for some time now. The part of the mine called Davis Cavern is named after Ray Davis Jr., a scientists who used the mine to study solar neutrinos in the 1960s.
The research lab, located at a depth equivalent to six Empire State buildings, will be used to help scientists study dark matter. Being almost 5,000 feet under the Earth’s surface is an ideal location as cosmic rays likely won’t interfere with research, but it will be some time before researchers are able to begin working there.
Engineers and construction crews must now stabilize and repair some of the tunnels, and add new safety infrastructure to prevent tunnel collapse. Research already is being conducted at 4,850 feet, with Congress mulling two labs that would go even deeper than the one now being built.