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AMS-02: NASA's Search for Parallel Universes & Dark Matter

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Published on Apr 28, 2011

The AMS detector heads for the International Space Station
The AMS particle detector will take off on 29 April 2011 at 21.47 CEST onboard the very last mission of the space Shuttle Endeavour. AMS, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, will then be installed on the International Space Station from where it will explore the Universe for a period of over 10 years. AMS will address some of the most exciting mysteries of modern physics, looking for antimatter and dark matter in space, phenomena that have remained elusive up to now.

A futuristic experiment sounding like something out of a scifi novel, that will hunt for antimatter galaxies and signs of dark matter, was nearly cancelled but is finally poised to voyage into orbit aboard the next-to-last space shuttle mission.

The $2 billion Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a more than 15,000-pound (6,900-kilogram) device searching for cosmic- rays -- high-energy charged particles from outer space -- will ride up to the International Space Station on the shuttle Endeavour this Friday April 29.

The instrument will employ a nearly 4,200-pound (1,900 kg) permanent magnet to generate a strong, uniform magnetic field more than 3,000 times more intense than Earth's. This deflects cosmic rays so that a battery of detectors can analyze their properties, such as charge and velocity, and beam their findings to mission control.
When NASA launches the experiment, Sam Ting, Principal Investigator for the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2 experiment, hopes that it will provide data that proves the existence of parallel universes that are composed of anti-matter. Discoveries could verify theories and answer basic questions regarding how the Universe formed.

According to Ting, the experiment is already accruing data as it awaits its launch date. Scheduled to fly aboard the final flight of the space shuttle Endeavour, STS-134, AMS-02 will search through cosmic rays for exotic particles, antimatter and dark matter. The experiment will be mounted to the outside of the International Space Station (ISS) and will require no spacewalks to attach.

While Ting has certain things that he hopes to discover, he believes that the most exciting questions are those that scientists don't even know to ask yet.

The particles that the 7.5 ton experiment is currently registering have had some of their qualities removed by the abrasive nature of Earth's atmosphere. This problem will be solved after Feb. 26 when the AMS-02 is delivered to its new home on the space station's S3 truss assembly. From its high vantage point it is hoped that the experiment will open new windows into particle physics and cause a revolution in our understanding of the Universe.

Ting hopes that AMS-02 will provide data that proves the existence of parallel universes that are composed of anti-matter. It is also hoped that the experiment will also discover particles that contain magnetic and electric particles that are exactly the opposite of ordinary particles.

Discoveries could verify theories and answer basic questions regarding how the universe formed, such as that of Burt Ovrut, professor of theoretical high energy physics at the University of Pennsylvania and pioneer of the use of M-theory to explain the Big bang without the presence of a singularity. Ovrut and colleagues imagine two branes, universes like ours, separated by a tiny gap as tiny as 10-32 meters. There would be no communication between the two universes except for our parallel sister universe's gravitational pull, which could cross the tiny gap.

Orvut's theory could explain the effect of dark matter where areas of the Universe are heavier than they should be given everything that's present. With Ovrut's theory, the nagging problems surrounding the Big Bang (beginning from what, and caused how?) are replaced by an eternal cosmic cycle where dark energy is no longer a mysterious unknown quantity, but rather the very extra gravitational force that drives the universe to universe (brane-brane) interaction.

Up until AMS-02, mankind's understanding of cosmic rays has been limited to measuring light gathered in telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope (HST).

The AMS-02 P.I. is also hoping to find out what dark matter is made of. This material is believed to be the "glue" that holds the Universe together. mankind's understanding of cosmic rays has been limited to measuring light gathered in telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). This experiment will be the first time that charged particles can be studied in the cold vacuum of space -- away from the distorting influence of Earth's opaque atmosphere

Source:
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/...

Related news:
AMS on the ISS: Exploring the Wonders of the Universe
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4Aqga...

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