Scientists from the Universities of Sheffield and Leeds will soon be able to study some of the most elusive particles known to man, thanks to a giant telescope under the sea that looks down towards the centre of the Earth rather than up into the sky.
Together with fellow scientists from across Europe they are building a telescope 2400m (one and a half miles) under the Mediterranean Sea to detect neutrinos. These tiny elementary particles hardly exist at all, having no charge and almost no mass. Neutrinos zoom through the earth at almost the speed of light, travelling here from some of the most extreme regions of the cosmos. Understanding them will give us a new view of the Universe and may allow scientists to confirm the existence of dark matter. Dark matter is believed to make up some of the 90 per cent of the missing mass of the Universe that has never been detected.
The project, costing 20 million Euros, is the result of collaboration between 150 physicists and astronomers from sixteen European organisations.
Jon Pyle | alfa
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