Dark Matter Research

China’s dark matter probe satellite detects 1.6 billion particles


  • China’s first dark matter probe satellite had explored 1.6 billion particles by Nov. 10, 328 days after the detector started to search the signals of invisible material. The satellite, named “Wukong” after the Monkey King character in the Chinese classic “Journey to the West,” was launched on Dec. 17, 2015 using a Long March 2-D rocket from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu province. The satellite boasts the largest observation scope, as well as the best energy resolution ratio and particle-resolving ability worldwide.


China expanding capacity of dark matter detector


  • Chinese scientists are expanding the capacity of an underground facility designed to detect elusive dark matter particles. Scientists are still searching for evidence to prove the existence of the hypothetical dark matter, an invisible substance thought to account for over a quarter of the universe’s mass-energy balance. The Jinping Underground Laboratory, which is 2,400 meters under a mountain in Sichuan Province, started operating in December 2010. It has a store of xenon, one of the few materials that interact with dark matter, and the cosmic rays that commonly interfere with attempts to observe dark matter generally cannot penetrate to such a depth underground.


China’s Dark Matter Satellite Working Well


  • The Chinese Academy of Sciences says the country’s first dark-matter detection satellite has successfully completed three months of in-orbit testing, and initial findings are expected to appear before the end of the year. Since launching in December, China’s Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE) Satellite “Wukong” has detected 460 million high energy particles, and sent about 2.4 Terra Bytes of raw data back to Earth.


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

March 4, 2016

  • 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.


Chinese engineers design dark matter detector

Feb 10, 2016

  • How do Chinese engineers design Wukong, China’s first dark-matter detection satellite, which was launched on Dec.17?


Scientists are fine-tuning China’s ‘Monkey King’ dark matter probe


  • China’s first dark matter probe ‘Monkey King’ is returning data and being calibrated in order to produce more accurate data, scientists have revealed. Since then, Wukong has been in a Sun-synchronous orbit, carrying out both indirect detection of dark matter and studies into high energy cosmic rays, returning around 20GB of data per day.


China receives message from satellite probing dark matter

December 21, 2015

  • China today said it has received “good quality” data from its first satellite searching for signals of dark matter, an invisible material that makes up most of the universe’s mass. A station in Kashgar in northwest China’s Xinjiang successfully tracked and received data from the Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE) Satellite at 8:45 AM local time yesterday.


China’s dark-matter satellite launches era of space science

17 December 2015

  • Wukong, officially called the Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE), is also notable for being the first in a series of five space-science missions to emerge from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Strategic Priority Program on Space Science, which kicked off in 2011.


China at cutting edge of dark matter search


  • China is joining the global competition at the scientific frontier — the search for dark matter — and new research instruments and facilities are in place to heighten anticipation for answers. On Thursday, the Chinese Academy of Sciences launched the country’s first dark-matter satellite, which will be in service for three years searching for signs of dark matter, to study the origin of cosmic rays and to observe high-energy gamma rays. “We hope we are lucky enough to become the first team in the world to find dark matter,” said Chang Jin, deputy director of the academy’s Purple Mountain Observatory. “Even if we are not, we will discover something new with this advanced probe.”


China launches world’s most sensitive dark matter hunting probe


  • China has launched a satellite designed to shed on light on one of the most intriguing mysteries of the universe – dark matter. The probe, renamed “Wukong” – or Monkey King – shortly before launch, blasted off on a Long March 2D rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi Desert, Inner Mongolia at 00:12 UTC on Thursday, December 17(08:12 Beijing time).


China to build a particle collider twice the size of the Large Hadron Collider

November 27, 2015

  • China is planning to enter the Europe- and US-dominated world of experimental physics with (wait for it …) a bang. It has formally announced that it will begin the first phase of construction of an enormous particle accelerator around 2020, which will be twice the size and seven times more powerful than CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC).


Chinese team wins breakthrough prize for neutrino research


  • A group of Chinese scientists has been awarded the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for their contribution of neutrino oscillation. Wang Yifang, from the Institute of High Energy Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, attended the award ceremony of the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics at the NASA Ames Research Centre.


China to Launch Retrievable Satellite to Probe Dark Matter

November 01, 2015

  • China will launch a series of scientific satellites including a retrievable one to probe ‘dark matter’ later this year, officials said today. The dark-matter particle explorer satellite will observe the direction, energy and electric charge of high-energy particles in space in search of dark matter, chief scientist of the project Chang Jin said.


China’s Great Scientific Leap Forward

Sept. 24, 2015

  • Completion of a planned ‘Great Collider’ would transform particle physics.


Best precision yet for neutrino measurements at Daya Bay

September 11, 2015

  • In the Daya Bay region of China, about 55 kilometers northeast of Hong Kong, a research project is underway to study ghostlike, elusive particles called neutrinos. Today, the international Daya Bay Collaboration announces new findings on the measurements of neutrinos, paving the way forward for further neutrino research, and confirming that the Daya Bay neutrino experiment continues to be one to watch. The latest findings involve measurements that track the way neutrinos change types or flavors as they move, a characteristic called neutrino oscillation. By measuring neutrino oscillation, the researchers can home in on two key neutrino properties: their “mixing angle” and “mass splitting.”


China plans to launch dark matter probe


  • SHANGHAI – Chinese scientists are planning to launch a dark matter probe satellite by the end of this year, researchers with the project announced on Friday. The dark matter particle explorer (DAMPE) satellite will observe the direction, energy and electric charge of high-energy particles in space in search of dark matter, said Chang Jin, chief scientist of the project, at a press briefing held by the Shanghai Engineering Center for Microsatellites (SECM). All key components of the satellite have been tested and are functioning well, and it is expected to launch from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center by the end of this year, the SECM said.


China’s second underground neutrino lab breaks ground


  • BEIJING, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) — A large underground laboratory for neutrino experiments broke ground Saturday in Jiangmen of south China’s Guangdong Province. The lab will be built 700 meters underground and put into operation in 2020, said Wang Yifang, director of the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the project’s spokesman from the Chinese side. It is designed to operate for at least 20 years and will be equipped with the world’s most precise and biggest liquid scintillation detector for neutrino, Wang said.


PandaX Team Report First Dark Matter Search Data

October 9, 2014

  • AsianScientist (Oct. 9, 2014) – Scientists across China and the United States collaborating on the PandaX search for dark matter from an underground lab in southwestern China report results from the first stage of the experiment in a new study published in the Beijing-based journal SCIENCE CHINA Physics, Mechanics & Astronomy. PandaX is the first dark matter experiment in China that deploys more than one hundred kilograms of xenon as a detector. The project is designed to monitor potential collisions between xenon nucleons and weakly interactive massive particles, hypothesized candidates for dark matter.


Chinese team is catching up in hunt for dark matter

26 August 2014

  • On Thursday, physicists in China reported the latest result in the search for particles of dark matter, the mysterious stuff whose gravity holds the galaxies together. Researchers with the Particle and Astrophysical Xenon (PandaX) detector spotted no sign of their quarry, which isn’t surprising because PandaX isn’t yet as sensitive as a detector already running in the United States that hasn’t seen anything either. Still, the finding is notable because the PandaX detector features a clever design that might enable it to vie for the sensitivity lead in the next year or so. The new work “is very credible,” says Richard Gaitskell, a physicist at Brown University and a member of the team working with the Large Underground Xenon (LUX) detector at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota, the current leader in sensitivity. Rafael Lang, a physicist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and a member of the collaboration building an even more sensitive detector known as XENON1T in Italy’s subterranean Gran Sasso National Laboratory, agrees. PandaX researchers “are doing a great job in [catching up] and making extremely fast progress,” he says.


China expands world’s deepest ‘dark matter’ lab

August 03, 2014

  • BEIJING – China has begun expanding the world’s deepest underground lab in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, where scientists have been conducting experiments on mysterious “dark matter”. The second-phase construction of the Jinping Underground Laboratory, located at 2,400 meters under the surface of Jinping Hydropower Station, was launched on Friday by Tsinghua University and Yalong River Hydropower Development Company, the university told Xinhua on Saturday. The construction, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015, will increase the lab’s space to 120,000 cubic meters, allowing more experiments to be carried out simultaneously, the university said.


Chinese scientists search for evidence of dark matter particles with new underground PandaX detector

July 23, 2014

  • The new PandaX facility, located deep underground in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan, hosts a large liquid-xenon detector designed to search for direct evidence of dark matter interactions with the nuclei of xenon and to observe 136Xe double-beta decay.


Perspective of the PandaX dark matter experiment

Jul 11, 2014

  • The PandaX experiment of China, which is located in the deepest underground laboratory, has released its technical design report recently. The full article will appear in SCIENCE CHINA Physics, Mechanics and Astronomy. The Particle and Astrophysical Xenon (PandaX) collaboration was established in 2009 and mainly supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education in China, the Natural Science Foundation of China,and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The experiment is suitable for both direct dark matter detection and Xe-136 neutrinoless double beta decay search.