A new research tool fitted to the International Space station is ready to bare its first results concerning the forces which hold the entire universe together. The Alpha Alpha Mass SpectrometerMagnetic Spectrometer is the single most expensive experiment to be performed in space costing a staggering $2 billon (£1.29 billion) to set in motion. The aim of this highly specialised piece of scientific equipment is t scan space to find out more about dark matter and the forces which bind the universe.

Whilst most information surrounding dark matter is currently speculative, the first research papers explaining what the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer has found are being published very soon. This will be the first time any research surrounding dark matter and weakly interactive massive particles (WIMPS) which play a huge role in the way our universe works.  Understanding this better is one of the big challenges in physics which could have an unprecedented role in changing our main energy sources. Currently we use large amounts of fossil fuels around the world to create electricity, drive our cars and to travel around the globe. A method of energy creation that would be both clean and unbelievably powerful could revolutionise the world for the better.

There has been a large amount of speculation of the viability of dark matter as an energy source from scientists around the globe but at the moment there is no proof to help support these claims. The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer can provide us with a better understanding of this fabled substance allowing a new era of research and development. This and the experiments being performed at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN are on the cutting edge of physics helping us to explain more and more of the universe around us.

On the other hand, these experimental physics exercises are enormously expensive. With the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer costing $2 billion and the LHC at CERN coming in at an extraordinary £5.2 billion is there a need to be spending such exuberant amounts on scientific development or could it be helping those across the planet who need it the most. Let’s hope that this ground breaking research can help push this planet to a better, more sustainable future.

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Chris Brown
Christopher Brown is Consett Magazine's lead journalist. Chris enjoys meeting with a whole host of different people to report on what's happening in Consett, Co.Durham.


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