A new Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence will conduct world-leading research to investigate the nature of dark matter.
ARC Chief Executive Officer, Professor Sue Thomas, welcomed today’s (22 September) official launch of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics led by The University of Melbourne.
The Centre is receiving $35-million in funding from the ARC over seven years to carry out experiments using new cutting-edge technologies, including at the underground physics laboratory at Stawell, 240 kilometres north-west Melbourne.
Improve experience and skills of Australian researchers
Professor Thomas said the Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter would allow Australia to lead research endeavours towards understanding what the universe is made of, with the potential for major discoveries and compelling new ideas on the nature of dark matter.
“This kind of innovative research will help advance our understanding of the universe and improve the experience, skills and capacity of Australian researchers,” she stated.
“It will utilise new experimental equipment in the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory as the Southern Hemisphere’s epicentre for dark matter research and a national facility desired for other disciplines.
Centre to provide a dynamic environment for advances
“This will provide a dynamic environment for advances in ultra-sensitive detectors, ultra-low radiation techniques, spin-off technology translation and highly trained graduates ready to lead innovation in Australian industry.”
According to the ARC, the centre is being led by Professor Elisabetta Barberio, who is at the forefront of Australian research in the hunt for elusive dark matter.
The centre will bring together a diverse field of national and international expertise in particle and nuclear physics, quantum measurement and astrophysics – working together to further knowledge and explore new approaches to detection that will provide valuable insights into the history and evolution of the universe.
It is collaborating with six universities across Australia: The University of Melbourne which will lead the ARC Centre of Excellence, Swinburne University of Technology, The University of Adelaide, The University of Sydney, The Australian National University and the University of Western Australia.