Monday, May 16, 2011

What's an Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer Do, Anyway?

Posted By on Mon, May 16, 2011 at 11:00 AM

See how the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer will hunt dark matter, cosmic rays and antimatter galaxies from the International Space Station in this SPACE.com infographic.
Source SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration

The Space Shuttle Endeavour is delivering an Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the International Space Station. What does it do, exactly?

You might think you learned in high school that the universe is made of atoms and molecules, protons and electrons, stars and galaxies, but over the last few decades astronomers have concluded — not happily — that all this is just a scrim overlying a much vaster shadowy realm of invisible “dark matter” whose gravity determines the architecture of the cosmos.

If they are lucky, scientists say, the Alpha spectrometer could confirm that mysterious signals recorded by other satellites and balloons in recent years are emanations from that dark matter, revealing evidence of particles and forces that have only been theoretical dreams until now.

Even if dark matter won’t ever become the ultimate diet — eat it and disappear — knowing what nature is made of could be useful someday in ways nobody can dream. Einstein’s curved spacetime, equally elusive to the senses, proved crucial to the function of GPS devices that were invented decades after Einstein’s death.

Or the device could find even something weirder.

[The New York Times]

Tags: , , , ,

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Jim Nintzel

  • Editor's Note

    Smoke Signals
    • Apr 19, 2018
  • The Skinny

    Downtown Tucson scored a big win last week when Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation extending the life of the Rio Nuevo district for an extra decade.
    • Apr 12, 2018
  • Editor's Note

    Get Your Fest On
    • Apr 12, 2018
  • More »
Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Meditation and Buddhist study

Meditation and Buddhist study @ Sky Island Zen

Tuesdays, Saturdays

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

Tucson International Mariachi Conference

The Tucson International Mariachi Conference was created to pass mariachi traditions to the next generation. 4/26 @… More

@ AVA: Anselmo Valencia Tori Amphitheater Thu., April 26, 6-8 p.m., Fri., April 27, 7-9 p.m. and Sat., April 28, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Casino del Sol, 5655 W. Valencia Road.

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. Eve of a Strike: Teachers and Districts Prep To Walk out of Schools This Week (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Conservatives Told: Keep Criticizing Teachers, But Not About Their Pay or Perks (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Catalina Brewing Beers Good News for Striking Teachers (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. The Strike Is On: Arizona Teachers Prepared for Walkout Next Week (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Antigone Books To Be Sold to Three Employees (If They Can Raise Some More Cash) (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2018 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation