szczys writes: Deep in a gold mine in South Dakota, the Large Underground Xenon experiment waits in the darkness for a tiny flash of light that signals that dark matter actually exists. So far we theorize that it does exist, and have gone to great lengths to build hardware to detect dark matter. Very cold, very pure liquid xenon sits waiting for a dark matter particle to strike the nucleus of a xenon molecule, producing a distinct pattern of photons through scintillation. An array of photomultiplier tubes detect the photons, whose pattern is processed by FPGAs on custom boards connected using HDMI. The experiment has generated a list of properties not possessed by dark matter; running for several years no evidence of the particles interacting with the xenon have been found. But when the data collection concludes this year, a much larger version of the impressive hardware will be built.
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