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Orbital quest for mysterious matter

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), a seven-ton, four-metre-high particle detector installed on the International Space Station (ISS), is being used to help a team of researchers from all over the world come a step closer to solving riddles about our Universe and, by extension, our own existence. The experiment addresses questions concerning the existence of antimatter and dark matter, and could lead to ground-breaking discoveries. In this interview Stefan Schael, an experimental physicist and the German project lead for AMS, explains how the instrument is being used and the discoveries it could lead to, and shares the story of the long road leading to its launch and commissioning.

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