Fifth Force Of Nature Possibly Discovered

Posted: Aug 16 2016, 4:34am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Fifth Force of Nature Possibly Discovered
"If confirmed by further experiments, this discovery of a possible fifth force would completely change our understanding of the universe," says UCI professor of physics & astronomy Jonathan Feng, including what holds together galaxies such as this spiral one, called NGC 6814. ESA/Hubble & NASA; Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt
  • UCI Physicists willing to Accept that there is a Fifth Force of Nature

Physicists at UCI are finally willing to accept that there might be a fifth force of Nature. Although this hypothesis is being tentatively entertained by the scientific community, it may have some reality to it.

The recent spiel about the discovery of a new particle may go on to prove that a fifth force of Nature, besides the usual four, exists. The paper discussing this possibility was published in a journal. If this happens to be the truth, it will surely have revolutionary implications for the science of physics.

Since eons humankind has believed in four fundamental forces which are said to hold the universe together. They are: gravitation, electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force.

If the experiments of the future show a fifth force to exist as well, it would change our very model of the universe. There would furthermore be alterations in the sort of thinking we are currently used to. The forces would be unified differently and dark matter would become a new entry on the scene.

A new paper got published in the journal Physical Review Letters by theoretical physicists at the University of California, Irvine. The findings of a study reported in this paper indicate the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle. This discovery may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature.

“If true, it’s revolutionary,” said Jonathan Feng, professor of physics & astronomy. “For decades, we’ve known of four fundamental forces: gravitation, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. If confirmed by further experiments, this discovery of a possible fifth force would completely change our understanding of the universe, with consequences for the unification of forces and dark matter.”

A study of dark photons conducted by Hungarian physicists in 2015 shows that dark matter may compose 85% of our universe. This work pointed out that a light particle may be in existence that was 30 times more heavier than an electron.

This was a quirk in radioactive decay sequences that set the physicists on a search for the fifth force. Although it is too premature to say that it is a new force, an excess of events lent a clue or two about the novel particle.

The opinion is still divided on the issue. The particle may in fact be a “protophobic x boson”. Normally electric force acts on electrons and protons. This special boson though interacts only with electrons and neutrons.

According to the physicists, there are no two bosons which are alike. That is one reason it has been given the epithet “x”. The “x” stands for the unknown nature of this boson’s characteristics.

More experiments need to be carried out if we are to get to the root of this strange phenomenon. This particle is not as heavy as it was supposed to be.

So it could be made in the lab and efforts at doing this have been ongoing since the 50s and 60s. The only problem is that the interactions of this particle are very slight. The particle will open a virtual Pandora’s Box in the field of physics.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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