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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

    CONTACT: John Blacksten                                  


    Samuel C. C. Ting to Deliver AIAA Von Kármán Lecture in Astronautics

    Lecture Entitled “The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer on the International Space Station: Unlocking the Secrets of the Cosmos”

    July 20, 2017 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has selected Samuel C. C. Ting, Nobel Prize winner in physics, and the Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts, to give its AIAA von Kármán Lecture in Astronautics. Ting will deliver his lecture on September 12 at 6:30 p.m. (EDT), as part of the 2017 AIAA Space and Astronautics Forum and Exposition (AIAA SPACE Forum), September 12–14, at the Hyatt Regency Orlando, Florida. Ting’s lecture is entitled: “The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer on the International Space Station: Unlocking the Secrets of the Cosmos.”

    Ting is the principal investigator of the International Space Station’s (ISS) Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS). The AMS measures antimatter in cosmic rays, searches for the existence of dark matter in the universe, and attempts to solve the question of the origins of cosmic rays and antimatter. A team of over 500 researchers from 56 institutions in 16 countries, led by Ting, uses the data it collects to better understand the formation of the universe. First conceived in 1995, Space Shuttle Discovery carried the system’s prototype, AMS-01, to the ISS in June 1998. The success of the prototype mission resulted in the team creating AMS-02, launched to the ISS on Space Shuttle Discovery in 2011. AMS-02 is currently searching for the existence of antimatter, dark matter, “strangelets” (a type of quark, or sub-atomic particle), and is also measuring the space radiation environment in an attempt to better understand the origins of the universe. AMS-02 has analyzed billions of cosmic rays, and had made startling findings about the excess of high-energy positrons in Earth-bound cosmic rays. AMS-02 has also found a plateau in the positron growth curve and is continuing to collect data to help determine why that plateau exists.

    Ting is a co-recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize in physics. He received the prize, along with Burton Richter of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, for their 1974 discovery of the J/ψ (J/psi) meson subatomic particle.

    Ting is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Deutsche Academy Naturforscher Leopoldina (Germany), the Academia Sinica (Taiwan), a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Soviet Academy of Sciences, the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (India). He is also a recipient of the Italian government’s 1988 DeGasperi Award in Science, the Society of Engineering Science’s 1977 A. C. Eringen Medal, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s 1975 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award.

    The von Kármán Lectureship in Astronautics honors an individual who has performed notably and distinguished themselves technically in the field of astronautics, and is named in honor of Theodore von Kármán, a world-famous authority on aerospace sciences.


    About AIAA  
    The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is nearly 30,000 engineers and scientists, and 95 corporate members, from 85 countries who are dedicated to advancing the global aerospace profession. The world’s largest aerospace technical society, the Institute convenes five yearly forums; publishes books, technical journals, and Aerospace America; hosts a collection of 160,000 technical papers; develops and maintains standards; honors and celebrates achievement; and advocates on policy issues. AIAA serves aerospace professionals around the world—who are shaping the future of aerospace—by providing the tools, insights, and collaborative exchanges to advance the state of the art in engineering and science for aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @AIAA.



    American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
    12700 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 200, Reston, VA 20191-5807
    Phone: 703.264.7558 Fax: 703.264.7551