Dark matter discovered for the first time?
Significant discovery coming in 2 weeks

Dark matter is every bit as mysterious and cool as it sounds; from what we know so far, our Universe’s energy comprises of 73% dark energy, 23% dark matter, and “regular” matter, like stars, planets, and everything else only accounts for the 4% left. When you think about matter, dark matter takes the big chunk, at 84%.
Some physics theories suggest that dark matter is made of WIMPS (weakly interacting massive particles), a class of particles that are their own antimatter partner particles. When matter and antimatter partners meet, they annihilate each other with a blast, so if two WIMPS would collide, they would be destroyed, releasing a pair of daughter particles — an electron and its antimatter counterpart, the positron (same mass, opposite charge).

In May 2011, a $2 billion machine called the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2 was mounted on the side of the International Space Station. The device may have just detected dark matter, for the first time; until now, everything we know about it comes from indirect observations and effects. According to MIT’s Samuel Ting, a physicist and the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer’s principle investigator, the first results will be published in two weeks, and “it won’t be a minor discovery”; the paper has so far passed 30 revisions and is finally set for publishing.

So far, AMS has detected 25 billion particle events, including about 8 billion electrons and positrons. This first science paper will report how many of each were found, and what their energies are, Ting said. The thing is, if there is an abundance of detected positrons peaking at a certain energy, that could indicate a detection of dark matter, because while electrons are abundant in the universe around us, we know of much fewer processes that lead to the creation of positrons. Another interesting question is if these positrons signatures come from preferential directions or from all around.

“The smoking gun signature is a rise and then a dramatic fall” in the number of positrons with respect to energy, because the positrons produced by dark matter annihilation would have a very specific energy, depending on the mass of the WIMPs making up dark matter, said Michael Turner, a cosmologist at the University of Chicago who is not involved in the AMS project. “That’s the key signature that would arise.”

But regardless of whether AMS has found dark matter yet, scientists said they expected the question of dark matter’s origin to become clearer soon.


  1. fictionalfriend reblogged this from science-junkie
  2. juguini reblogged this from thatscienceguy and added:
    ciencia-junkie :
  3. theriverdalien reblogged this from science-junkie and added:
    More AMS results are being released today. Get hip to your universe
  4. informacaoquantica reblogged this from thatscienceguy
  5. alter-eggo reblogged this from thatscienceguy
  6. moderatelyinterestingweirdo reblogged this from thatphysicsguy
  7. exxhale reblogged this from magicspirals
  8. kranga6 reblogged this from science-junkie
  9. dispatchesfromdenver reblogged this from science-and-logic
  10. astrocosmonaught reblogged this from science-junkie
  11. paradoxknight reblogged this from science-junkie
  12. eclectic-minded-lucid-dreamella reblogged this from science-junkie
  13. starfckrs reblogged this from the-uncarved-block
  14. fuckinglively reblogged this from fuckinglively
  15. thisisme-nowfuckoff reblogged this from science-junkie
  16. deadastronautcomics reblogged this from science-junkie
  17. here-comes-the-universe reblogged this from quantumblreasoning
  18. quantumblreasoning reblogged this from science-junkie