Fundamental Physics on the International Space Station

DIPC Seminars

Manuel Aguilar Benítez de Lugo, Spanish Royal Academy of Mathematics, Physics and Natural Sciences - Former Vice-President of the CERN Council
Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC).Paseo Manuel de Lardizabal, 4, Donostia
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Fundamental Physics on the International Space Station In 2012 we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the discovery of cosmic rays by the Austrian physicist Victor Hess. In the first half of the XXth century, the study of cosmic rays played an essential role in the development of elementary particle physics. The discovery of the positron (the first observed antiparticle) in 1932 is among the most exciting milestones in this scientific field. 100 years later, the study of cosmic rays remains a most promising and powerful tool to uncover fundamental unknowns in our understanding of the Universe. Among them, the fate of the primordial cosmic antimatter, the nature of dark matter and the possible existence of new forms of matter. On May 19, 2011, the AMS (Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer) instrument, a detector built from technologies developed for particle physics accelerator experiments, started data taking on board of the International Space Station. In this seminar, the main challenges of the construction and commissioning of AMS will be reviewed and a selection of results, based on a subsample of the 50 billion cosmic ray events collected in the first 3 years of operation, will be presented.