Homestake [South Dakota gold mine] grand dame’s body donated to science – by Dorothy Kosich ( – May 31, 2012)

One of the ultimate examples of the sustainability of mines-the nation’s first deep underground science lab-was formally unveiled deep in the caverns of the former Homestake gold mine.

RENO (MINEWEB) –  Nearly five years ago Mineweb told readers about plans to transform the former grand dame of U.S. gold mining, the Homestake gold mine in Lead, South Dakota, into the nation’s first national deep underground science laboratory.
On Wednesday, South Dakota’s Sanford Underground Research facility formally unveiled the new 4,850-foot deep Davis campus, which will seek to unravel the mystery of dark matter, and also search for a rare form of radioactive decay.
The Large Underground Xenon Dark Matter Search Experiment or LUX experiment, considered the world’s most sensitive and largest dark-matter detector–is the culmination of the work of 70 scientists and 14 institutions over the past four years.
LUX physicist Simon Fiorucci told a local TV station, “There is a lot of mass that does not emit light that we cannot account for.”
 “We are looking for something that is five times more important in the entire universe than everything else that we know about so far,” he stressed. It is anticipated that during its first four days of operation, LUX will produce more data that every other dark matter experiment combined.
Nearby in a new hall will be the MAJORANA Demonstrator Experiment, which will search for a rare form of radioactive decay, which may help scientists understand how the universe evolved.
The space, which the late Nobel Prize winning physicist Ray Davis used to conduct his neutrino search in the 1960s, is now a full 19,433 square foot laboratory. The Davis campus experiments “are major international efforts in dark matter and neutrinoless double beta decay, helping to maintain U.S. leadership in these areas,” University of California-Berkley physicist Kevin Lesko told the Black Hills Pioneer this week.
“We are deploying the most advanced detectors, led by U.S. collaborations in a U.S. laboratory and we are not shipping our best and brightest overseas to pursue these absolutely critical investigations,” he noted.
Scientists with LUX and MAJORANA will begin installing their experiments immediately, a transition that is expected to take the remainder of this year.

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