The PAMELA space mission for antimatter and dark matter searches in cosmic rays
New results on the antiproton-to-proton and positron-to-all electron ratios over a wide energy range (1 – 100 GeV) have been obtained by the PAMELA mission. These data are mainly interpreted in terms of dark matter annihilation or pulsar contribution. The instrument PAMELA, in orbit since June 15th, 2006 on board the Russian satellite Resurs DK1, is daily delivering to ground 16 Gigabytes of data. The apparatus is designed to study charged particles in the cosmic radiation, with a particular focus on antiparticles for searching antimatter and signals of dark matter annihilation. A combination of a magnetic spectrometer and different detectors allows antiparticles to be reliably identified from a large background of other charged particles. The talk will illustrate the most important scientific results obtained by PAMELA, together with some of the more recent theoretical interpretations.
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University of Roma, Italy
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Piergiorgio Picozza is full Professor at the University of Rome “ Tor Vergata”, where he is teaching “Astroparticle Physics” and “Nuclear and Subnuclear Physics”. His scientific activity has been addressed for many years in the fields of Nuclear and Elementary Particle Physics with experiments at particle accelerators on few body systems, symmetry violations and new particle searches. He is author of about 300 articles published in international scientific magazines.
In the last 20 years he has been involved in space missions in the field of Astroparticle and High Energy Gamma Ray physics devoted to matter, antimatter and dark matter studies. He performed many balloon borne experiments at the top of atmosphere to detect antiprotons and positrons as well electrons, proton and light nuclei and satellite experiments to study the low energy nuclear and isotopic component of the cosmic rays.
At present, he is Principal Investigator of the “Pamela” experiment, dedicated to the search of anti-matter and signals of dark matter in cosmic rays. Pamela has been launched in space on board of the Russian satellite Resurs DK-1 on June 15, 2006