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back to article WIMP-seeking detector flooded

A South Dakota-based dark matter experiment has taken a large step towards go-live, with a detector lowered into its water tank ahead of observations beginning next year. The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) detector was delivered in July. The underground location is designed to shield the detector from cosmic radiation, while the …

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“ultra-pure, de-ionized water”

is not drunk by anyone with any sense, as it is detrimental to one's health...

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Angel

Re: “ultra-pure, de-ionized water”

Which is the first thing that came to my mind, and made me a massive fan of flogging it to said Hipsters as the Next Best Must-Try Thing.

"What do you mean, hazardous to health? It's ULTA-PURE!!! Anything that pure MUST be Good For You. Go on, have a sip....."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: “ultra-pure, de-ionized water”

It also tastes HORRIBLE.

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Unhappy

OY! Units!

I presume that -160&degF is mispelt -160F.

IIRC El Reg agreed to standardise on SI units. This excludes Farenheit, an obsolete unit of temperature that is currently only used by Americans and elderly persons with Alzheimers.

I presume you meant to write 165K or -108C

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Anonymous Coward

Re: OY! Units!

I suspect you may have misspelled (or misspelt, if you prefer), misspelt.

(Hopefully I have not run foul of Muphry's law.)

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Paris Hilton

Re: OY! Units!

IIRC: NYDRC (No, You Don't Recall Correctly) - the standardisation was solely for the El Reg's Special Projects Bureau. The only agreement made for the Reg as a whole was the inclusion of some proper Vulture units (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/24/vulture_central_standards/), but there was no unit included for temperature.

Maybe the Vulture Board should comtemplate including a unit for 'hotness' - so which one ranks higher, the Paris or the Lohan?

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Unhappy

WIMP out on this, I will

Unfortunately with the LHC eructing nothing beyond the Standard Model and all WIMP experiments so far coming up with nothing, this could become a great null experiment.

It's a desert out there...

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WTF?

Neutrinos?

The set-up is very reminiscent of the detectors for neutrinos, another particle that very rarely collides with matter. I wonder how they plan to tell dark matter hits apart from neutrino hits? The linked-to site did not explain (apart from mentioning that "techniques themselves can be further scaled up and applied to other fundamental experiments such as double beta decay and solar neutrinos. "

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Re: Neutrinos?

I thought that's what the error correction photo-multiplier tubes were for.

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At what point

do we stop looking and decide that dark matter is an illusion? Despite numerous similar detectors, nothing has yet shown up, and early results from the LHC show no sign of SuSy or other unexpected particles. It seems fair to give it another few years and then start a serious search for modified Newtonian/Einsteinian dynamics, in order to account for the anomalous behaviour of matter at large scales.

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Re: At what point

What about this device being built precludes experiments regarding MOND? WIMPs are only one type of dark matter - if dark matter doesn't interact with regular matter AT ALL, then experiments like this would be unable to detect it, and we'd be left with looking for it via its gravitational signature.

The galactic rotation issue that MOND also attempts to explain is only part of the evidence for dark matter, so even if MOND were proven true there would be other observations (galaxies rushing towards a point where apparently nothing exists, etc.) that currently have dark matter as potential candidate and which MOND cannot be the explanation for.

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Coat

How are they going to find dark matter underground?

With the defining characteristic of dark matter being that it's dark, and with the detector being underground, where it's also dark, How are they going to see anything?

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Happy

Re: How are they going to find dark matter underground?

Nightvision- that explains the photomultipliers.

The xenon is there to inhale and do Darth Vader impressions while they wait.

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Anonymous Coward

WIMPs?

Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointer?

Would have been good to explain the acronym in the article.

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Boffin

Re: WIMPs?

Wildly Improbable Massive Particles

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Perhaps the author could expand, in a future article, on what a WIMP is.

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