Evidence for dark matter from PAMELA

02/04/2009

Two lines to point out this paper, appeared in the latest number of Nature, coming from PAMELA Collaboration. This project is directed by Piergiorgio Picozza. He has been my professor of nuclear physics at Rome University La Sapienza (but all my mistakes about are my own responsability…). pamelaPAMELA is a satellite that is orbiting Earth since 1023 days to date (you can find a counter on PAMELA’s site) and is gathering data about cosmic radiation. They have found an enhanced production of positrons. In this last paper they reach the relevant conclusion that this excess may come from dark matter through an annihilation process. This appears a significant evidence for the existence of this exotic matter that we expect to be produced at LHC in the next months as the consequences of the accident happened last year will be definitively fixed. Let me say that I find PAMELA exceedingly sexy as what she is saying to us is really exciting.

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Looking for black swans

02/04/2009

Criticisms to present management of science are recurrent claiming that only well-founded research is pursued while the search for new and risky avenues is generally dismissed as there is no  revenue, at least in short time, and, in the worst case, any investment may be lost.

About this matter I have found an article on Physics World’s blog (see here). Of course, one can disagree about writer’s arguments but the feeling that we are livng a time of stall is somehow pervasive in some communities. My personal view is that we have recurring periods of hype and a lot of work for preparing them. In a period of hype giant figures emerge but to recognize giants that, nevertheless, prepared the field for the coming revolution era is surely more difficult. It is the same situation we find in soccer where there is a player doing a decisive pass but, in the end, we only remember the one that realized the goal.


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