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The BESS Search for Cosmic-Ray Antiproton Origins and for Cosmological AntimatterThe apex of the Balloon-borne Experiment with a Superconducting Spectrometer (BESS) program was reached with the Antarctic flight of BESS-Polar II, during the 2007-2008 Austral Summer, that obtained 24.5 days of data on over 4.7 billion cosmic-ray events. The US-Japan BESS Collaboration uses elementary particle measurements to study the early Universe and provides fundamental data on the spectra of light cosmic-ray elements and isotopes. BESS measures the energy spectra of cosmic-ray antiprotons to investigate signatures of possible exotic sources, such as dark-matter candidates, and searches for heavier antinuclei that might reach Earth from antimatter domains formed during symmetry breaking processes in the early Universe. Since 1993, BESS has carried out eleven high-latitude balloon flights, two of long duration, that together have defined the study of antiprotons below about 4 GeV, provided standard references for light element and isotope spectra, and set the most sensitive limits on the existence of antideuterons and antihelium. The BESS-Polar II flight took place at Solar Minimum, when the sensitivity of the low-energy antiproton measurements to a primary source is greatest. The rich BESS-Polar II dataset more than doubles the combined data from all earlier BESS flights and has 10-20 times the statistics of BESS data from the previous Solar Minimum. Here, we summarize the scientific results of BESS program, focusing on the results obtained using data from the long-duration flights of BESS-Polar I (2004) and BESS-Polar II.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Mitchell, John (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Yamamoto, Akira (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2009
Subject Category
Meeting Information
International Cosmic Ray Conference(Lodz)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.