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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute

Past Events

Find out about some of the previous events held by Durham Energy Institute:

Deep Science at the UK’s Boulby Underground Laboratory - Subterranean studies from the search for Dark Matter to studies of climate, the environment, life on Earth and beyond…

8th March 2017, 15:00 to 15:00, E245, School of Engineering & Computing Sciences, Dr Sean Paling of the Boulby underground lab

For more than a decade UK astrophysicists have been operating experiments to search for Dark Matter (the 'missing mass in the Universe’) 1100m below ground in a purpose-built 'low-background' facility at Boulby potash and polyhalite mine in the North East of England. This facility - the Boulby Underground Laboratory - is one of just a few places in the world suited to hosting these and other science projects requiring a 'quiet environment', free of interference from natural background radiation. The race to find Dark Matter continues and Boulby currently hosts a number of internationally important projects dedicated to this cause. In the meantime the range of science projects looking for the special properties of deep underground facilities is growing and projects currently operating at Boulby range from astro & particle physics to studies of geology and geophysics, environmental radioactivity, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and studies of life on Earth and beyond. This talk will give an overview of the Boulby Underground Laboratory, the science currently supported and plans for science at Boulby in the future.

Sean Paling is the Director and Senior Scientist of Boulby Underground Laboratory, the UK’s deep underground science facility funded and operated by the Science and Technology Facilities council. Sean received his PhD for studies of high energy cosmic ray physics at Leeds University and Los Alamos National Lab, USA. He has worked for General Electric, Newcastle University and Newcastle General Hospital in medical imaging systems research
and development. Since 2001 he has worked in experimental ultra-low background physics research, in particular direct searches for Dark Matter. Since 2009 he has been the Director of STFC’s Boulby underground laboratory, developing the facility for hosting ultra-low backgrounds studies and more. He is a senior scientist at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and holds honorary Professor positions in the physics departments of the Universities of Sheffield and Durham.

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