Installed on the ISS is the most expensive and complex device in the history of the station


21/05/2011

The largest and most complex scientific instrument was installed at the International Space Station. Through delivered into orbit Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer will take ten thousand cosmic rays in a moment that will let you know about the most hidden secrets of the elementary particles.

Cosmic rays - a high-energy particles that move through space at velocities close to the speed of light. Installed today, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (MAC-02) and will classify these rays, which will reveal the fundamental nature of matter.

One of the most puzzling mysteries that will solve the MAC - is the source of cosmic rays. The enormous energy of the particles can occur in tangled magnetic fields of exploded stars, or perhaps in the center of active galaxies, or in some places yet to be discovered by astronomers.

By collecting and measuring the large number of cosmic rays and their energies, physicists hope to understand the source and mechanism of their formation.

MAC-02 will remain on the ISS until at least 2020. There is a chance that the MAC-02 detects a particle antihelium that emerged during the Big Bang.

"The most exciting in the MAC, is that this device will be able to look into the unknown in search of the phenomena of nature, which we could not even conceive of not having the appropriate instruments to detect them," - said the Nobel laureate Samuel Ting, who heads this international project.

The device is equipped with a unique set of sensors. It was set up institutions in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, with the participation of the United States, China, Russia and Taiwan.

In total, the international team includes more than 600 scientists from 56 institutions in 16 countries.

Original: Physorg


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