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Still in Old School

Reged: 12/09/04

Dark smoke and mirrors
      #5775517 - 04/03/13 12:59 PM


"So, AMS-02 made some bold claims today. Dark matter is mentioned 9 times in the press release, supersymmetry twice. They say that “...over the coming months, AMS will be able to tell us conclusively whether these positrons are a signal for dark matter...”. However this is just a lot of smoke without fire. There's absolutely no way that measurements of the positron spectrum may give us a robust evidence for dark matter, not now, and not anytime soon. We simply have no robust way of telling dark matter from boring astrophysics in that channel, because we don't know the shape nor the normalization of the background. It doesn't mean that AMS cannot provide a tantalizing signature of dark matter in the future. The most important thing we learned today is that AMS works and exceeds in precision the previous instruments (which wasn't that obvious: it's the first time a serious experiment is performed on a space station, and besides the mission underwent a dramatic downgrade shortly before the launch). We're waiting most eagerly on the AMS measurements of the antiproton and anti-deuterium spectra. A correlated excess in several channels could give us more confidence in the dark matter origin. Until that happens, the history has taught us to be skeptical about evidence of dark matter from astrophysics experiments. "


This is disgraceful science, but what else is new? They spent 2 billion chasing a chimera, so by God, they will find the evidence they need, regardless of the actual needs of science.


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