Physicists at the University of California published a new theory concerning the fifth force of nature that until now had gone unnoticed by the researchers. Moreover, the discovery was also made almost entirely by accident.
The other four laws of physics are gravity, electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force. In an interview, one of the professors co-authoring the study explained the details of their discovery and what is the fifth force of nature.
The Hungarian Experiment
The study was a continuation of the work of Hungarian nuclear physicists which created an excited state of the beryllium nucleus. The researchers got the protons and the neutrons in the nucleus move faster and then left them to cool down. While losing the energy, the nucleus also emitted radiation.
In the process, the Hungarian scientists observed an interesting pattern in the distribution of energy which led them to believe that they were dealing with a new type of particle that may also be a force carrier.
While they were looking for dark photons, a hypothetical particle that may be connected to dark matter, the Hungarian team discovered the new type of force that only interacts with neutrons and electrons, but not with protons.
Some scientists believe that the anomaly may be due to the improper experimental setting. However, only further research and replicates of the experiment will prove if the Hungarians were right.
The Fifth Force of Nature
The researchers had been looking for decades for a new particle, and other analyses completed the picture so that the University of California researchers added all the known data and created a profile of the fifth force of nature.
Other groups of scientists all over the world are trying to validate the new theory. If proven correct, the standard model of particle physics will be modified to contain the fifth force. The change will affect everything that we now know about the Universe, and the researchers will have to include it in every new theory and model of how the world works.
Also, should the particle present itself to have the properties that the scientists now think it may have, it will change the theories surrounding the Big Bang and everything else that followed after the explosion, including the formation of stars, galaxies, and planets.
The researchers did not observe it until now because the force is feeble and it has a range under the microscopic distance. It is stronger than gravity, but it’s less powerful than the electromagnetic force.
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