Physics Questions for AMS

antimatter .. cold dark matter .. the age of cosmic rays .. strangelets .. gamma ray astronomy .. earth's particle environment .. microquasars .. primordial black holes ... the unknown

AMS measures the "fingerprints" of astrophysical objects in high-energy particles

In general, AMS is trying to study the sources of cosmic rays. These sources include ordinary things like stars and supernovae, as well as (perhaps!) exotica like quark stars, dark-matter annihilations, and galaxies made entirely of antimatter. Each astrophysical source emits a particular type of cosmic rays; the rays migrate through space in all directions; we detect the ones that pass near Earth. With careful theoretical modeling, we figure out how astrophysical objects leave their "fingerprints" in cosmic rays, and we figure out how to measure that fingerprint (or the absence of it!). Sometimes the fingerprint is the presence of a whole new type of particle (like an anti-helium or strangelet); sometimes, the fingerprint is an unusual feature in an energy spectrum (like a dark matter or microquasar signal). Click on the links above (or in the navigation bar to the left) to learn more about AMS's physics goals!
Cold Dark Matter: what makes up the Universe's missing mass? Microquasars: what happens to relativistic particles when they leave a microquasar? Gamma ray astronomy: looking at high-energy astrophysical objects Antimatter: Where did the Big Bang leave all the antimatter it should have created? The Unknown: are there any surprises in cosmic rays? Strangelets: what happens to nuclear matter at the highest densities? Primordial black holes: Is the universe full of tiny, evaporating black holes? Age of galactic cosmic rays: How to cosmic rays travel inside the galaxy? Earth's trapped particles: How do cosmic rays behave in Earth's magnetosphere? . are large parts of the Universe made of antimatter?a what is the "Dark Matter" made of? Does a stable "strange quark" phase of matter exist? what is the nature of "gamma ray bursts"? How do relativistic jets escape from microquasars? How do cosmic rays propagate through our gfalaxy? ? the AMS experiment Is there anything entirely unexpected out there?