Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer heads for the International Space Station

Date:
April 27, 2011
Source:
CERN
Summary:
The AMS particle detector will take off on 29 April 2011 at 21.47 CEST onboard the very last mission of the space Shuttle Endeavour. AMS, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, will then be installed on the International Space Station from where it will explore the Universe for a period of over 10 years. AMS will address some of the most exciting mysteries of modern physics, looking for antimatter and dark matter in space, phenomena that have remained elusive up to now.

The AMS particle detector will take off on 29 April 2011 at 21.47 CEST onboard the very last mission of the space Shuttle Endeavour. AMS, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, will then be installed on the International Space Station from where it will explore the Universe for a period of over 10 years. AMS will address some of the most exciting mysteries of modern physics, looking for antimatter and dark matter in space, phenomena that have remained elusive up to now.

Related Articles


In laboratories like CERN[1], physicists observe matter and antimatter behaving in an almost identical way. Each matter particle has an equivalent antiparticle, very similar but with opposite charge. When particles of matter and antimatter meet, they annihilate. Matter and antimatter would have been created in equal amounts at the Big Bang, yet today we live in a Universe apparently made entirely of matter. Does nature have a preference for matter over antimatter? One of the main challenges of AMS will be to address this question by searching for single nuclei of antimatter that would signal the existence of large amounts of antimatter elsewhere in the Universe. To achieve this, AMS will track cosmic rays from outer space with unprecedented sensitivity.

"The cosmos is the ultimate laboratory," said Nobel laureate and AMS Spokesperson Samuel Ting. "From its vantage point in space, AMS will explore such issues as Antimatter, Dark Matter and the origin of Cosmic Rays. However, its most exciting objective is to probe the unknown because whenever new levels of sensitivities are reached in exploring an unchartered realm, exciting and unimagined discoveries may be expected. "

In the same way that telescopes catch the light from the stars to better understand the Universe, AMS is a particle detector that will track incoming charged particles such as protons, electrons and atomic nuclei that constantly bombard our planet. By studying the flux of these cosmic rays with very high precision, AMS will have the sensitivity to identify a single antinucleus among a billion other particles.

"This is a very exciting moment for basic science," said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. "We expect interesting complementarities between AMS and the LHC. They look at similar questions from different angles, giving us parallel ways of addressing some of the Universe's mysteries."

AMS may also bring an important contribution to the search for the mysterious dark matter that would account for about 25% of the total mass-energy balance of the Universe. In particular, if dark matter is composed of supersymmetric particles, AMS could detect it indirectly by recording an anomaly in the flux of cosmic rays.

"Never in the history of science have we been so aware of our ignorance," said AMS Deputy Spokesperson Roberto Battiston. "Today we know that we do not know anything about what makes up 95% of our Universe."

AMS is a CERN recognized experiment and as such has benefited from CERN's expertise in integrating large projects, from CERN's vacuum and magnet groups and from test beam facilities for calibrating the detectors. In addition, the Payload Operation Centre (POC) of AMS will open in June 2011 at CERN, very near to the place where the AMS detector was assembled in clean room facilities. From the POC, physicists will be able to run the AMS detector as well as receive and analyse data arriving from the International Space Station.

AMS is the result of a large international collaboration with a major European participation. It is led by Nobel laureate Samuel Ting and involves about 600 researchers from CERN Member States (Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland) as well as from China, Korea, Mexico, Taiwan, and the United-States.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CERN. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CERN. "Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer heads for the International Space Station." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110427070902.htm>.
CERN. (2011, April 27). Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer heads for the International Space Station. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110427070902.htm
CERN. "Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer heads for the International Space Station." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110427070902.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Scientists Find Invisible Space Shield Protecting Earth

Scientists Find Invisible Space Shield Protecting Earth

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) An invisible barrier is keeping dangerous super fast electrons from interfering with our atmosphere, but scientists aren't entirely sure how. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soyuz Spacecraft Docks With International Space Station: NASA

Soyuz Spacecraft Docks With International Space Station: NASA

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying Italy's first female astronaut safely docks with the International Space Station, according to NASA. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins