An amazing day as the Australian Research Council confirmed the funding of the world's first dark matter detector in the Southern Hemisphere. SABRE is (basically) an ultra low-radiation salt crystal that will glow when struck by the dark matter that makes it a kilometre underground to the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory. As a Co-Investigator on this $195k grant I can't thank the ARC panel enough for agreeing about the excitement and importance of the project.
Huge technical challenges (and exciting innovations!) await but for now it's just a joy to be able to say 'full steam ahead' and start the search!
If you want to know more I've included the abstract summary for project LE160100080 as a:
"Detector system for the first Australian experiment on dark matter: This project involves the installation of equipment for an experiment to detect our galaxy's dark matter via nuclear recoil. Here in the Southern Hemisphere, we have a crucial advantage in the search for dark matter via direct detection, which will allow us to independently test the most persistent and enigmatic signal in the worldwide dark matter detection effort. The detector system, called SABRE South, is designed to be paired with a matching one in the Northern Hemisphere. The research program is addressing one of the most important unsolved problems of contemporary science."