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AMS (Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer)

Particle physics go to Space

Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) experiment studies the problems concerning the basic physics of elementary particles by measuring the flow of different cosmic rays in space with high resolution. For the first time AMS will help to identify cosmic rays within an interval of energies ranging from hundreds of MeV to thousands of TeV in order to carry out research to verify the existence and the absence of antimatter, as well as possible mechanisms linked to the origin of dark matter: two problems of crucial importance within the field of astroparticles.

AMS was installed onboard the Space Station by 2011. The STS91 forerunner flight was a great success. In fact, it allowed several measurements of the cosmic rays' primary flow composition on a great part of the earth's surface. These measurements have been published since the year 2000. They are a written reference being more accurate than the previous measurements on a stratospheric balloon, in particular as far as systematic errors are concerned.


The Italian participation in the experiment is based on the collaboration between ASI and the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) involving not only design, but tests, accomplishment, integration and in-orbit operations of different systems which constitute the instrument.