Dark Matters

Excited to see reports that the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), perched on the International Space Station (ISS), is generating data (encountering lots of positrons) that may ultimately confirm the nature/prevalence of dark matter. What’s dark matter? An invisible source of gravity responsible for the structure and clustering of galaxies and such.

The investment in the device was a bit of gamble, costing billions. The first model, intended to use super-cooled magnets, proved too difficult and costly to assemble into a “flyable” and maintainable package. So a less complex, VBAM (very big-ass magnet) was used in the final experimental package. And it has been working just as the product manual said it would. Yeah for big science!!

Shuttle Endeavour delivered AMS to the ISS on its final mission, so one final shout-out to Endeavour!

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