In May 2011, a $2 billion machine called the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2 was mounted on the side of the International Space Station. The particle collector can detect dark matter, which it may very well have done. According to an announcement at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, some big news concerning dark matter will be released in the next two or so weeks, although what precisely it is about is being kept under wraps.
According to MIT’s Samuel Ting, a physicist and the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer’s principle investigator, the first round of results from the AMS will be sent to a scientific journal in approximately two weeks. Says the principle investigator, the publication won’t “be a minor paper,” with Space reporting that the report underwent 30 revisions by scientists before being submitted.
Theory has it that dark matter is composed of particles with antimatter partners. When the two meet – matter and antimatter – they destroy each other and produce daughter particles, the positron and the electron. These are weakly interacting massive particles, more commonly called WIMPS.
Although he won’t provide any specifics about what the report will show, Ting stated that the findings are a small piece of deciphering dark matter. Information pertaining to the approximately 8 billion positrons and electrons detected by the AMS will be included in the report, such as their energies and just how many were discovered. If enough positrons meeting the correct requirements were discovered, the implication would be dark matter.