Enrico Sacchietti

With architecture that could be mistaken for a London fashion week runway or a sci-fi film set set, at 20 metres high and 25 metres wide, the XENON1T chamber is the largest and most sensitive dark matter detector in the world. Sacchetti captured this image of the detector just before it was about to be filled with a chamber of xenon, immersed in ultra-pure water and sealed from view for the next five years. It is believed that one day that dark matter particles will interact with the large, dense xenon atoms and will cause a flash of light, which will be captured by the ultra-sensitive detectors that line the chamber’s walls. So far, no dark matter particles have been detected at XENON1T.

The colossal scale and untouched beauty of the detector's design isn't lost on those that view this image - Sacchetti’s photo of the XENON1T won first prize at the Royal Photographic Society’s 2017 competition.

Image copyright: Enrico Sacchetti/INFN. Please note, this photo cannot be used without prior permission of the photographer.

About the contributor(s) 

Enrico Sacchietti is a science and technology photographer, working in both stills and motion. He has been published in major scientific and technology publications worldwide, such as New Scientist, Popular Science, Wired (UK + US), Le Scienze,
Scientific American, Nature, Cosmos, Discover, Focus (UK), Physics World, Avaunt, GEO and Smithsonian magazines. He is the Gold Award Winner of the Royal Photographic Society's 2017 International Image for Science. www.es-photography.com