From sticking magnets to refrigerator doors to throwing balls into basketball hoops, the power of physics works at every moment of our lives.
All the forces we experience every day can be reduced to four categories: gravity, electromagnetism, strong forces, and weak forces.
Now, physicists say they have discovered potential signs of the fifth fundamental force of nature.
The findings are from a study conducted at a laboratory near Chicago.
The four fundamental forces govern how all objects and particles in the universe interact with each other.
For example, gravity causes an object to fall to the ground, and a heavy object behaves as if it were glued to the floor.
The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) in the United Kingdom said the results “provide strong evidence of the existence of undiscovered subatomic particles or new forces.”
However, the results of the Muon g-2 experiment are not yet conclusive findings.
Currently, the chances of the result being a statistical fluke are 1 in 40,000. This corresponds to a statistical confidence level called 4.1 sigma.
To claim the discovery, the level 5 sigma, that is, the probability that the observation is accidental, must be 1 in 3.5 million.
Professor Mark Lancaster, the British leader in the experiment, told BBC News: “It turns out that muon interactions do not match the Standard Model. [the current widely accepted theory to explain how the building blocks of the Universe behave].. “
“Obviously, this is very exciting,” said a researcher at the University of Manchester, because it could point to a future with new laws of physics, new particles, and new forces that we have never seen before. . “
This discovery is the latest in a series of promising results from particle physics experiments in the United States and Japan, most recently from the Large Hadron Collider on the Swiss-French border.
Professor Ben Allanach of the University of Cambridge, who was not involved in the latest efforts, said:
“I was looking for more power and particles than we already know about all of my career. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for, I’m too excited to sleep too much. Hmm. “”
Based at the Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, the experiment looks for signs of new phenomena in physics by studying the behavior of subatomic particles called muons.
In our world, there are building blocks that are even smaller than atoms. Some of these subatomic particles are composed of smaller components, while others cannot be decomposed into other particles (elementary particles).
Muons are one of these basic particles. Similar to an electron, but more than 200 times heavier.
In the Muon g-2 experiment, particles are sent around a 14-meter ring and a magnetic field is applied. Under the current laws of physics encoded by the theory known as the Standard Model, this should cause the muon to wobble at a certain rate.
Instead, scientists have discovered that muons are wobbling faster than expected. They say this may be caused by a whole new force of nature for science.
No one yet knows what this potential new force will do other than affecting muons.
Theoretical physicists believe that it may also be related to subatomic particles that have not yet been discovered. There are multiple concepts about what this fictitious particle is. One is called a leptoquark and the other is a Z’boson (Z-prime boson).
Physicist working on LHCb experiment with Large Hadron Collider last month We have described the new particles and the possible consequences of the force.
Dr. Mitesh Patel of Imperial College London, who worked at the LHC, said: Take more data and more measurements and hopefully show evidence that these effects are genuine. “
Professor Allanach has given various names to the fifth force possible with his theoretical model. Among them are the “Flavor Force”, the “Third Family Hyper Force”, and-the most violent of all-the “B Minus L2”.
In addition to the more familiar gravity and electromagnetism (causes of electricity and magnetism), strong and weak forces govern the behavior of subatomic particles.
The fifth fundamental force may help explain some of the big puzzles about the universe that have moved scientists in recent decades.
For example, the observation that the expansion of the universe is accelerating was due to a mysterious phenomenon known as dark energy. However, some researchers have previously suggested that it may be evidence of the Fifth Force.
Dr. Maggie Adelinpocock, co-presenter of the BBC’s Sky at Night Program, told BBC News: This may provide important answers to solving these mysteries. “
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