This blog consists of daily news items of interest to followers of QUIDDITY as a qualitatitive method of describing the world. This approach was described by Clive Barker in "The Great and Secret Show" and analyzed in the 149 posts of the QUIDDITY blog of this writer (see link to companion blog).
Friday, May 27, 2016
Fifth Fundamental Force of Nature Found?
Scientists Quietly Found a Fifth
Fundamental Force of Nature? by
May 26, 2016 --Under-the-radar
this year in the journal Physical Review Letters may have
discovered a previously unknown fifth fundamental force of nature: a new boson
which is only 34 times heavier than the electron and which does not violate the
laws of physics.
there are four known fundamental forces of nature: gravity, which holds planets
and galaxies together; electromagnetism, which binds our molecules together;
strong nuclear forces, which hold atomic nuclei together; and weak nuclear
forces, which help some kinds of atoms go through radioactive decay. Together,
these forces explain the majority of observable physics.
Over the years, there
have been many claims that a fifth fundamental force exists, but as of yet, no
researchers have been able to find evidence to substantiate this proposition.
The inability of the standard model to explain dark matter, the invisible
particles believed to make an estimated three-fourths of the universe, has led
scientists to ramp up the search for new forces or particles to help explain
this phenomenon, including so-called “dark photons.”
nature of the discovery remains unknown
In fact, Krasznahorkay’s
team was searching for evidence of dark photons, but the team which reviewed
those earlier findings believe that the group may have discovered something
different. The Hungarian scientists fired protons at lithium-7 targets to
create unstable beryllium-8 nuclei, which they decayed and emitted pairs of
electrons and positrons, according to Nature.
The standard model
indicated that they should have seen the number of observed pairs decrease as
the angle separating the trajectory of the electron and positron increased, but
according to the results of their study, there was an increase of emissions at
an angle of approximately 140º, then a decrease again at higher angles.
Krasznahorkay believes that this brief uptick is evidence that some of the
beryllium-8 nuclei emitted excess energy in the form of a new particle.
This particle, which is
estimated to have a mass of about 17 megaelectronvolts (MeV) and which would
then decay into an electron–positron pair, may either be a dark photon or a
protophobic X boson, the former of which would couple to electrons and
protons and the latter of which would couple to electrons and neutrons.
While the investigation
continues into exactly what they might have found, Krasznahorkay and his
colleagues are confident that it is not simple an anomaly, as they reported
that they have been able to repeat the results several times over a three-year
span. They added that they had been able to eliminate every possible source of error,
which is true, means that the odds of them witnessing such an event without
something unusual happening were just one in 200 billion, said Nature.