The WiZard, PAMELA and GAPS collaborations are international (European-American, European-Russian, Americam, European and Japanese) collaborations for cosmic ray physics. Their main scientific goal is measuring the flux and energy spectra of antiprotons, positrons and light antinuclei in the cosmic radiation and continuing the search for primordial antimatter. The importance of this research stems with the comprehension of fondamental questions about the Universe and its evolution, the origin of cosmic rays and it is strongly connected with particle physics problems as CP/CPT violation and indirect searches of dark matter.
WiZard and PAMELA: Trieste group is part of these collaborations from the very beginning and its main contribution is in the realization of silicon detectors for several apparati and in the analysis of the experimental data obtained.
The WiZard-Trieste group has been involved in several astroparticle physics projects as:
- BALLOON flights. We performed three balloon-borne experiments mainly to measure the positron-electron (TS93 experiment) component and the antiproton-proton component (CAPRICE94 and CAPRICE98 experiments) of the cosmic rays.
- NINA. A telescope made by 16 silicon detecors assembled in a novel technique to study the nuclei component of the cosmic rays. It is part of a Russian satellite that was launched on July 10, 1998.
- PAMELA. A magnet spectrometer in a satellite to measure antimatter in the cosmic radiation that was launched on board of a Russian satellite on June 15, 2006. Trieste group was responsible for the construction of the imaging calorimeter and it is leading the data analysis of the experiment.
- SIEYE. A small telescope made by silicon detectors to be used as a mask by astronauts to understand the light flashes observed by them. Two versions of the telescope were used, and data taken, on board of the space station MIR.
GAPS: Trieste group lead the Italian participation to the balloon-borne experiment that involves American and Japanese institutions.
The GAPS/WiZard group at Trieste is made of 5 people: INFN Research Directors Dr. Mirko Boezio and Dr. Valter Bonvicini, INFN Researcher Dr. Riccardo Munini and INFN Tecnologist Gianluigi Zampa, graduate student Alex Lenni.