A kilometre underground Regional Victoria will lead the world as we search for dark matter and can even host experiments into new detectors and basic cancer research!
It’s incredibly exciting to be a part of this journey of dark matter discovery and building national scientific facilities for the next generation... thank you Vic Gov and the Commonwealth for your support as well as the various partner institutes for getting the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory to this point.
(A special acknowledgement to my colleague from University of Melbourne, Prof Elisabetta Barberio, who has lead the entire project!!)
Astronomers have seen the movement of stars pulled by the gravity of an unseen companion. We now think that this unseen companion, dark matter, makes up five times more of the Universe than everything we can see combined. Uncovering that dark matter is one of the most important questions in science for this century - meaning the attention of the world’s physicists will now be on regional Victoria as a leader in the search for dark matter!
This Lab will undoubtedly inspire local students to study physics in school and at university, but it also means that if they want to be part of a global scientific experiment, they can do that right here in Stawell.
Victoria's state government will contribute $5 million to build the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory. The funding has been announced by Victoria’s state Minister for Regional Development, Jaclyn Symes, and matches the federal government’s funding commitment confirmed in April. The laboratory will be built one kilometre underground, within the Stawell Gold Mine, as a bespoke excavated cavity 30 metres long, 10 metres wide and 10 metres high. It will provide ultra-low background research facilities (free from the particles that form background radiation) needed in the ground-breaking search for dark matter.