Scientists: Cosmic ray detector finds first evidence of dark matter

By StaffAssociated Press April 3, 2013 at 9:12 am
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Switzerland  Cosmic Rays

This undated image shows an artist's concept of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, rounded module at left, installed on the International Space Station provided by NASA. The cosmic ray detector searched the universe and shall help to explain how everything came to be. CERN , the European Organization for Nuclear Research, released first results of the experiment Wednesday April 3, 2013. (AP Photo/NASA)

GENEVA (AP) — A $2 billion experiment on the International Space Station is on the verge of explaining one of the more mysterious building blocks of the universe: The dark matter that helps hold the cosmos together.

An international team of scientists says the cosmic ray detector has found the first hint of dark matter, which has never yet been directly observed.

The team said Wednesday its first results from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, flown into space two years ago, show evidence of a new physics phenomena that could be the strange and unknown matter.

 

In this undated picture made available by NASA, a technician examines the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.. The  cosmic ray detector  was mounted on the International Space Station,  searched the universe  and shall help to explain how everything came to be. CERN , the European Organization for Nuclear Research, released first  results of the experiment Wednesday April 3, 2013. (AP Photo/NASA, Glenn Benson)

In this undated picture made available by NASA, a technician examines the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.. The cosmic ray detector was mounted on the International Space Station, searched the universe and shall help to explain how everything came to be. CERN , the European Organization for Nuclear Research, released first results of the experiment Wednesday April 3, 2013. (AP Photo/NASA, Glenn Benson)

 

Nobel-winning physicist Samuel Ting, who leads the team at the European particle physics laboratory near Geneva, says he expects a more conclusive answer within months. The findings are based on an excess of positrons— positively charged subatomic particles.

“This is an 80-year-old detective story and we are getting close to the end,” said University of Chicago physicist Michael Turner, one of the giants in the field of dark matter. “This is a tantalizing clue and further results from AMS could finish the story.”

RYOT NOTE: Dark matter? That’s so … dark. It’s also awesome. We are so lucky to live in an age when there are amazing new discoveries every day. But in order for that to continue, we must support the organizations working to make it happen. The National Space Society is one of our favorites. They’re pushing the limits every day, advocating for space exploration and discovery. Check them out, consider donating and share this story!

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  1. [...] NOTE: Yes! We love the search for dark matter; it’s so … dark. This stuff was more or less proven to exist last week, so now it’s just a matter of gather more evidence so we can better understand its role in the [...]

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