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Electromagnetic Interactions Group (EMI)

"The most exciting objective of AMS is to probe the unknown; to search for phenomena which exist in nature that we have not yet imagined nor had the tools to discover" (S.C.C. Ting)

The Electromagnetic Interactions (EMI) Group is led by Prof. Samuel C. C. Ting. This group initiated and has been leading the development of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02), a $2 billion project conducted by an international collaboration of 600 physicists from 56 institutions representing 16 countries on 3 continents.

This international collaboration designed and built a particle physics detector, AMS-02, which will operate in space on the International Space Station (ISS). The AMS-02 will measure charged particles flying in space before they interact with the Earth's atmosphere. The AMS-02 is an ideal instrument to search for primordial antimatter, the identity of dark matter, and the origin of cosmic rays. In addition, since the AMS-02 allows researchers to observe the universe in charged particles instead of visible, infrared, or ultraviolet light, we can anticipate the discovery of unknown phenomena which cannot be seen in any frequency of light.

NASA will place the AMS-02 on the ISS, which orbits the Earth at an altitude of about 300 km. Currently, the AMS-02 is scheduled to be launched in 2011 by the Space Shuttle Endeavour from the Kennedy Space Center and operated for the lifetime of the ISS.

The AMS-02 was preceded by its prototype, the AMS-01, which was also led by the EMI group. The AMS-01 measured charged particles in space in the payload of the Space Shuttle Discovery for ten days in 1998. The AMS-01 was the first particle physics detector ever operated in space. Despite the short period of the data collection, the AMS-01 made many intersting and surprising discoveries.

The technology and skills needed to build a particle detector in space and lead a large international collaboration were acquired through nearly half a century of experience in leading particle physics experiments on the ground. In the early 70's, this group discovered the J particle at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). In the late 70's and early 80's, this group led the Mark-J experiment at the PETRA electron-positron collider at the DESY laboratory in Germany, resulting in the discovery of gluons. In the early 80's to the beginning of this century, this group led the L3 experiment, one of the four large experiments conducted at the Large Electron-Positron Collider (LEP) at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland.

- Web description provided by Tai Sakuma

 Visit the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer Website


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