Brown physicist searching for dark matter

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Brown University physicist is one of the leaders of a hunt for mysterious dark matter in a former gold mine deep below South Dakota.

Professor Rick Gaitskell is one of the investigators behind the Large Underground Xenon experiment, which features a detector designed to find dark matter, an enigmatic material scientists believe makes up most of the universe's mass.

The detector is housed in a double-walled titanium tank filled with ultrapure water and buried nearly a mile underground. The elaborate design is intended to prevent interference from the cosmic rays and radiation that regularly pass through the earth.

Gaitskill says the detector is nearly operational and could begin its search early next year. He says the device offers the best chance yet of spotting the elusive particles.

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