It appears to be the case that the science of physics has advanced to the level where it may be ready for a fifth force of nature besides the conventional four.
Physics today is at the forefront of knowledge and discovery. It is a field rich in cutting-edge inventions and innovations that sparkle with the wit of the scientists who are spearheading reason as the criterion of this solid science.
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Yet the four forces of the universe seem to have remained the same since quite some time. They are gravity, electromagnetism, the strong force and the weak force. Together they are supposed to form the very glue that holds our universe intact and prevents it from scattering into chaos.
Not anymore. Physicists in Hungary have found evidence of a fifth force of nature. Once this mysterious force has been confirmed to be present, the work of redrawing the architectonics of our universe may become the order of the day.
Getting back to the four forces, they are very important in the scheme of things. The conventional model of the universe that explains how things work from the atom to the planet is based on these four forces.
Gravity is the force that holds the planets in a balance in outer space. Both gravity and the electromagnetic force also keep our molecules from scattering.
At the microlevel, there are two forces: the strong force and the weak force. The strong force holds together the atomic nuclei and the weak force enables the some atoms to undergo radioactive decay. This is the basis of our current state of knowledge.
"At the smallest level are the two other forces: the strong nuclear force is the glue for atomic nuclei, and the weak nuclear force helps some atoms go through radioactive decay," according to Popular Science (via ScienceAlert). "These forces seemed to explain the physics we can observe, more or less."
However, the fifth force was spotted last year. Attila Krasznahorkay at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences’s Institute for Nuclear Research in Debrecen, Hungary, and his colleagues reported their surprising result in 2015 on the arXiv preprint server. Their findings were published in January 2016 in the journal Physical Review Letters. “We are very confident about our experimental results,” Krasznahorkay told Nature.
Protons were aimed at lithium-7 and the end result was a new boson particle that was only 34 times heavier than an electron. The surprising thing is that this study was ignored until a team of researchers in the United States decided to take a gander at it. This group came to the conclusion that the super-light boson could constitute a fifth force. This is where things started to get very exciting.
A race began among the scientists of the global village to verify the results of the Hungarian study. This is not the first evidence to come out regarding a fifth force. There has been talk about dark matter and a dark photon before this.
The physicists who conducted the original experiment are confident about what they have discovered. While the science of physics is the most skeptical about reality, once something has been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, it is made a part of the pantheon of inventions and discoveries.