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No, there are no “hints” of dark matter in new experimental results

4 Apr 2013, 16:25 UTC
No, there are no “hints” of dark matter in new experimental results
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Yesterday was a frustrating day for me, and I imagine for many other scientists. For several months now, certain people had been talking up results from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) particle detector mounted on the International Space Station (ISS), without revealing exactly what they were. However, they hinted strongly that AMS-02 was detecting signatures of dark matter annihilation, which—if true—would be a wonderful discovery.
Which brings us up to yesterday, with big press build-up by NASA and CERN, and no availability of the research paper or even where the paper would be published until right before the seminar announcing the results. That’s the kind of secrecy involved in big announcements like the Higgs boson or the Planck cosmic microwave background data. However, when the AMS-02 results were revealed, they seemed a bit…anticlimactic. You wouldn’t necessarily gather that from the press releases (or subsequent press coverage, which generally takes its tone from press releases), but to many of us watching, it seemed that this announcement was not quite worthy of the major build-up and suggestive hints.
I wrote about the results and some of their implications at Ars Technica, but here’s the brief summary. AMS-02 is a multipurpose particle detector, ...

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