News & AnalysisParticle Physics

Hint of Dark Matter May Be Just Cosmic Ray Debris

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Science  15 Nov 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6160, pp. 787
DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6160.787

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Suppose you thought you glimpsed Bigfoot in your yard. You might be disappointed if somebody suggested you'd actually seen a bear. You'd feel doubly let down if the bear turned out to be your neighbor. That's how some physicists may feel about a new analysis of data from a particle detector aboard the International Space Station that seemed to show hints of dark matter. Skeptics had argued that the signals seen by Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer could be produced by some nearby pulsar. Now, a trio of theorists says the data can be explained by ordinary cosmic rays.