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Deep science

Lab director to discuss progress at public lecture

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Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2013 11:30 am | Updated: 1:52 pm, Thu Apr 25, 2013.

SPEARFISH — Deep science is coming to Spearfish again, and this time audiences will get a unique look into the changing environment at the Sanford Underground Research Facility.

On Friday, Mike Headley, lab director for the Sanford Underground Research Facility, will present a public lecture at Black Hills State University about the recent construction at the lab in Lead, as well as progress of the world-leading science experiments currently hosted at the facility. Additionally, Headley will discuss plans for future experiments that span a variety of science disciplines, that are planned for the facility that is located a mile underground.

Headley’s talk is part of the Sanford Lab’s popular “Deep Science” lecture series. During his lecture, Headley will also discuss the impact of the underground laboratory through groundbreaking physics research, and collaboration of local scientists. He will also touch on the education impact, as well as the effect the lab will have on writers, artists, business people, and other experts in the community.

Since it was officially dedicated on May 30, 2012, the Davis Campus laboratory, located 4,850 feet underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility, has been filled with a great deal of activity, as two of the world’s leading physics experiments prepare to take data. The Large Underground Xenon dark matter detector, which will become the world’s most sensitive dark matter detector in the world within two weeks of operating, is getting ready to initiate a two-month run of data collection. The Majorana Demonstrator, which seeks to study the properties of neutrinos through a rare radioactive decay process called neutrinoless double beta decay, is also ramping up its activity, with several sensitive detectors built so far. Further, rehabilitation work on the shafts to improve access to the 4,850-foot level is ongoing, making the lab even more attractive for more long-term science experiments that could extend the life of the Sanford Lab for at least 40 years.

Headley’s talk will be from 4-5 p.m., Friday, April 26 at Black Hills State University, Jonas 305. Everyone is welcome to attend and there is no charge for the event. For more information call Ben Sayler at 642-6874, or e-mail

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