A 2,400-meter-deep physics laboratory in Southwest China's Sichuan Province was put into scientific operation on Thursday, making it the deepest and largest underground laboratory globally, Xinhua News Agency reported.
The deep underground and ultra-low radiation background facility designed for frontier physics experiments is located beneath Jinping Mountain in Sichuan's Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture. The facility, with a total room capacity of 330,000 cubic meters, is the second phase of China Jinping Underground Laboratory.
The first grouping of 10 experimental project teams from Tsinghua University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Beijing Normal University among others, have settled in and started scientific experiments within the facility.
Li Hongbi, chief engineer of the engineering and technology department said that the facility construction was started in December 2020, and the wind, water and power system of the whole laboratory has been built and put into use, meeting the condition for the experiment groups to settle in.
Scientists believe that the laboratory offers an environment free from interference, which allows them to pursue the invisible substance known as dark matter. They said that the significant depth of the laboratory helps block most cosmic rays that interfere with observation, Xinhua reported.
The facility will become a world-class interdisciplinary deep underground scientific research center integrating multiple disciplines including particle physics, nuclear astrophysics and life sciences, to facilitate the development of China's research in relevant frontier fields, according to the report.
The China Jinping Underground Laboratory was inaugurated in 2010, which is an underground research facility with the deepest rock overburden and largest space by volume in the world. It is located in the Jinping tunnel in Sichuan Province, according to the lab.