Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hints of Dark Matter (Picture of the Day: 4/3/13)

Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS). Source

Some new evidence has come out of the International Space Station. The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS),  a $2 billion piece of equipment, has been detecting cosmic rays for the past 18 months and has seen some pretty interesting things. From 25 billion cosmic rays, the AMS has noticed a "sharp" drop off of positron emissions. Positrons, the antimatter equivalent of electrons, are theoretically created when cosmic rays hit particles of dark matter, but at a certain energy level, cosmic rays would become powerful enough to begin creating more exotic particles when interacting with dark matter, thus creating the sharp drop off in positron emissions. If dark matter didn't exist, there would be a gradual drop off.
While this new information indicates that dark matter may exist, there are still other explanations for these results, such as pulsar emissions. 
For more information, check out this article.

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