New underground lab in China will look for the origin of stars

World Today

The world’s deepest underground lab in southwest China has been extended with another underground space that will be able to block cosmic rays, helping Chinese scientists to further probe into the origins of the elements.

The state news agency Xinhua reported that the 2,400-meter deep Jinping Underground Laboratory has opened a nuclear astrophysics lab. The original facility opened in December 2010 and expansion began in 2014.

Photo: CFP

Photo: CFP

China dark matter lab 

It aims to carry out cutting-edge scientific research into the nuclear reactions that take place within stars, a process believed to create many of the elements. Research into this field will provide much deeper insight into the evolution of stars and the origin of elements.

Researchers hope to use the facility to explore the birth of heavy elements by measuring neutron source reactions, according to Liu Weiping, head of the research facility.

Scientists said that previous experiments have been disturbed by the influence of cosmic rays. This new lab will provide a “clean” space for a number of physical and cosmological experiments, including those concerned with the search for “dark matter.”