The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer was designed to detect high-energy cosmic rays in long-term research to learn what happened to the antimatter presumably cooked up in the big bang. It also is looking for clues about the nature of unseen dark matter and the equally mysterious dark energy that is speeding up the expansion of the universe.
Archiv: dark matter
Solving a century-long mystery: the origin of galactic cosmic rays
The word ‘astronomy’ means the direct observations of extra-terrestrial objects. This definition is relevant to photons, neutrinos, and gravitational waves, i.e. massless, neutral and stable particles. But for cosmic ray electrons, protons, and nuclei, the term ‘astronomy’ is used with a certain reservation. Because of the deflections of electrically charged particles in the chaotic interstellar and intergalactic magnetic fields, the information about their original directions pointing to the sites of their production is lost. Instead, on the Earth, we detect an (almost) isotropic flux of cosmic rays contributed by a huge number of galactic and extragalactic sources.