It’s been theorized that 25 percent of the whole universe are consisting dark matters. To prove this theory physicists made at Large Underground Xenon(LUX) detector at the underground in South Dakota. The site used to be a gold mine. It was the largest and greatest attempt to find dark matter. But in September 2016 they had to discontinue their studies after three years of unsuccessful research.
creators dismantled its computers and electronics piece by piece up through a mine shaft. Although the measurements by physicists were more precise than ever. Now LUX is developing and getting more sensitive. The advanced successor of LUX is named as LUX-ZEPLIN, which will search for weakly interacting massive particles(WIMP). Scientists released about their LUX-ZEPLIN project in the journal of Berkley Lab.
While studying on the dark matter with LUX, Physicist Adam Bernstein from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory found an another way to look for missing nuclear material using the dark matter detector. It could be useful for Watchdog industries like the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA). professor Bernstein said in a statement,“From a distance, they seem like two totally different occupations”.
Wired reported that over the last decade IAEA has scrutinized hundreds of cases of nuclear smuggling. Peoples are selling radioactive weapon grade ingredients such as Uranium, Cobalt, or Iridium to black market at millions of dollars per pound. They used to steal materials from nuclear power plants, hospitals, and oil companies. In November 2015 During the inspection of pipeline American oil services company and a Turkish contractor brawled found 10 missing grams of Iridium-192 in Iraq.
That amount of Iridium is enough to make a bomb. Physicists theorized that dark matters act similarly to the emitted particles in radioactive decay. Dark matter particles can travel through solid objects just like Neutrons and gamma rays. Scientists are using this property to detect the flighty particles.
Although, LUX wasn’t good enough to detect WIMP but it could detect neutrons and gamma rays. Nuclear security agents run their tests on Earth’s surface but LUX was built at a mile deep of Earth that protects the shield from raining cosmic rays and particles. LUX costs about $10 million to develop and construct and it was not portable.
Physicists made a miniature version for Cryogenic Dark Matter Search which is based on the Germanium detector. However, it is necessary that the Germanium has to be cooled. Rather than using liquid Nitrogen scientists found an alternative process to cool Germanium using electricity.