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Race to shed light on dark secret

London, April 30 (Reuters): British scientists equipped with state-of-the-art detectors deep underground in northern England have begun a search for one of the most tantalising secrets of the universe — known as Dark Matter.

“If we are successful in our quest then we are looking at a place in the history books,” Neil Spooner of Sheffield University said on Tuesday. “This will be one of the great discoveries of our time.”

Teams of scientists around the world are racing to be the first to discover the truth about Dark Matter, which cannot be seen because it does not emit light. They believe it makes up the vast majority of the universe.

Scientists say stars account for less than one per cent of the mass of the universe, with gas clouds and other objects accounting for close to another five per cent.

No one is quite sure what makes up the missing remainder, which has been dubbed Dark Matter.

In a bid to identify the prime suspect known as Weakly Interacting Massive Particles or WIMPs, British scientists have installed highly sensitive detectors 1,100 metres down a salt mine at Boulby on the North Yorkshire moors.

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