Big news related to the dark matter, an undetected mass in the universe, will be revealed in about two weeks as said by the scientists from the space-based particle physics experiment, Samuel Ting, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The scientists including MIT physicist Samuel Ting, Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) principle investigator who received Nobel Prize in 1976, will submit the research relating to the dark matter to a scientific journal. AMS is a particle collector fixed on the outside of the International Space Station (ISS).
“In 2-3 weeks, we should be ready,” Ting said in a statement.
Although the paper is said to be a “small step” in the research of dark matter but still it has important findings. “It will not be a minor paper,” He added.
Dark matter is thought to be composed of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPS), a class of hypothetical particles. When the WIMPS collided, they result in the production of an electron and the positron (electron antiparticle).
About $2 billion AMS has the ability to detect the electrons and the positrons generated by the dark matter annihilations in the Milky Way. It was installed on the ISS in May 2011 and has, so far, detected 25 billion particle events including about 8 billion electrons and positrons. The paper will tell about the number and the energies of each of them, Ting said.
It has been thought that abundance of positrons peaking at certain energy could show the detection of dark matter. The ratio of positrons to electrons passing through the ISS’s near Earth orbit, changes with energy and this ratio is very much helpful in the study of dark matter.
Another point of interest, related to the experiment, will be that whether positrons are coming from one direction (that may be due to some normal astrophysical phenomenon such as star explosion) or from all directions (that may be due to dark matter).
“There is a lot of stuff that can mimic dark matter,” Theoretical physicist Lisa Randall of Harvard University, who is not involved in the project but excitedly, awaiting the AMS results, said in a statement.
Let’s wait for the research paper and anticipated finding…