The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) Project

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) Project is a high profile, space-based particle physics experiment that is led by Nobel laureate Samuel Ting of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The project"s AMS-02, a state-of-the-art particle physics detector, is being constructed, tested and operated by an international team composed of 56 institutes from 16 countries and organized under U.S. Department of Energy sponsorship.

Orbiting the Earth at an altitude of 200 nautical miles, the AMS is pioneering new frontiers in particle physics research. This unique scientific exploration mission seeks to understand fundamental issues shared by physics, astrophysics and cosmology on the origin and structure of the universe. The project is specifically looking for antimatter and dark matter, but as the first magnetic spectrometer in space, AMS has and will collect information from cosmic sources emanating from stars and galaxies millions of light years beyond the Milky Way. The technical challenges to building such a detector for use in space have been surmounted through the close collaboration among the AMS scientists and industries around the world. Their efforts have resulted in the development of new technologies and higher standards of precision.

NASA"s Johnson Space Center project office oversees and directs the overall payload integration activities and ensures that the payload is safe and ready for launch on the Space Shuttle and deployment onto the International Space Station. The AMS project will use the unique environment of space to advance knowledge of the universe and lead to the understanding of its origin.

Group(s): Space Policy
Speaker George Abbey

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Tue, Feb. 16, 2010
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
(GMT-0500) America/Chicago


Rice University's Baker Institute