In a man-made cavern, deep beneath a mountain, scientists are hoping to shed light on one of the most mysterious substances in our Universe – dark matter. The Gran Sasso National Laboratory seems more like a Bond villain’s lair than a hub for world class physics. It’s buried under the highest peak of Italy’s Gran Sasso mountain range; the entrance concealed behind a colossal steel door found halfway along a tunnel that cuts through the mountain.
But there’s a good reason for its subterranean location. The 1,400m of rock above means that it is shielded from the cosmic rays that constantly bombard the surface of our planet. It provides scientists with the “silence” they need to understand some of the strangest phenomena known to physics….