NAIAD dark matter detector

NAIAD dark matter detector

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This image is part of the feature Dark Matter

Credit: JAMES KING-HOLMES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: NAIAD dark matter detector. Dr Nigel Smith working on the NAIAD (Sodium iodide [NaI] Advanced Array Detector) lead 'castle'. Dark matter is the non- visible matter that is thought to make up most of the mass of the universe. Candidates for dark matter include exotic particles called weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs). The NAIAD detector is located over a kilometre underground at Boulby, North Yorkshire, England. This shields the detector from unwanted background radiation, though WIMPs can still reach the detector. Some WIMPs are stopped by the lead. The lead atoms recoil from this impact and trigger embedded NaI scintillation detectors. Photographed in 2003.

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