The DAMPE experiment: performances and results
The DAMPE (DArk Matter Particle Explorer) experiment is a space mission whose main purpose is the detection of cosmic electrons and photons up to energies of 10 TeV , in order to identify possible evidence of Dark Matter in their spectra. Furthermore it aims to measure the fluxes and the elemental composition of the galactic cosmic rays nuclei up to 100 TeV and more, in order to get a better understanding of the galactic sources, acceleration mechanisms and propagation processes in the Galaxy. DAMPE is supported by an international collaboration involving universities and scientific institutions of the People’s Republic of China, of Italy and the University of Geneva. The satellite was successfully launched on December 17th, 2015 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. The DAMPE detector consists of: a double layer of Plastic Scintillator Detector; a Silicon-tungsten Tracker-converter; an electromagnetic calorimeter (composed by BGO crystals) and a Neutron Detector.
This is the first experiment which provides a direct measure of the electron spectrum up to energy higher than 10 TeV and of the cosmic ray nuclei spectra up to ∼ 100 TeV /n with high statistics. The electron plus positron measured spectrum confirms the cut-off at ∼ 1 TeV according to the HESS measurement, whereas the proton and helium spectra show the spectral hardening at hundreds of GeV in agreement with the past measurements carried out by previous experiments; moreover in the proton spectrum it was found a softening at ∼ 14 TeV. These results suggest the existence of spectral features of cosmic rays at energy below the so-called knee.
As concern the gamma astronomy, DAMPE has reconstructed a very precise sky map identifying a very high number of pulsars.
We intend to present and discuss the performances of the detector and the main scientific results obtained after three years of data taking.
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