New lab turns SD gold town into scientific hub

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Nestled nearly 5,000 feet beneath the earth in a western South Dakota gold boom town is a laboratory that could help scientists finally detect dark matter.

The Sanford Underground Research Facility will officially open Wednesday with tours given by Gov. Dennis Daugaard. The lab will house two experiments: the world's most sensitive dark-matter detector and another that will search for a rare form of radioactive decay.

Both aim to unearth answers about life, its origins and the universe.

Dark matter makes up about 25 percent of the universe, though scientists only know it exists because of the effect it has on gravity.

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