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Muons Suggest The Existence Of A Fifth Fundamental Force Of Nature

by Kareena Dodeja

Muons Suggest The Existence Of A Fifth Fundamental Force Of Nature

April 12, 2021

Physics provides us with the laws that govern our physical universe. Physics has found signs that there is a possible fifth fundamental force of nature which could change the way we perceive the universe.

The Fifth Force Of Nature Found?

There are forces we experience every day such as gravity, electromagnetism, the strong force, and the weak force. Scientists have now discovered that there could be a fifth force of nature which is startling. The research was carried from a laboratory near Chicago that could reveal the fifth force of nature. We are aware of how the four fundamental forces govern the objects and particles in the universe by interacting with each other. Let us take for example how gravity makes objects fall to the ground and heavy objects seem to be glued to the floor.

The UK lead for the experiment, Professor Mark Lancaster told BBC News that they have found the interaction of muons were not in agreement with the Standard Model that is the currently accepted theory to explain how the building blocks of the Universe behave. A researcher from the University of Manchester said that this is very exciting because it points to a future with new laws of physics, new particles, and a new force we have not seen to this date.

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Mark Lancaster have found the interaction of muons were not in agreement with the Standard Model that is the currently accepted theory to explain how the building blocks of the Universe behave.

The latest findings in a string from the particle physics experiments in the US, Japan, and the recent Large Hadron Collider on the Swiss-French border have shown promising results. Researchers have revealed that there could be a possibility that it could be real. The experiment conducted at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois studied the behavior of sub-atomic particles called muons. They have been working on searching for signs of new phenomena in physics by understanding the behavior of muons.

These are the building blocks of our world which are even smaller than the atom. Some of these sub-atomic particles are made of even smaller constituents whereas others cannot be broken into something else. The muon is one of these fundamental particles and it is similar to the electron but 207 times massive. The muons tend to decay extremely quickly into electrons and super-light particles called neutrinos.

Experiments Hint The Fifth Force Might Exist

The Muon g-2 experiment consists of sending particles around a 14-meter ring and then applying it to a magnetic field. Under the current law of physics, they had encoded that the Standard Model should make the muons wobble at a certain rate. What is interesting is that the muons wobbled at an unpredictable rate which astonished the researchers.

This could be very well be caused by a force of nature unbeknownst to science previously. None of the researchers have an idea of what this potential force can do other than the fact that it can influence muon particles. Some of the theoretical physicists believed that it could be associated with an undiscovered sub-atomic particle.

Renee Fatemi, a physicist at the University of Kentucky and manager of the experiment said in a statement that the quantity we measure reflects the interactions of the muon with everything else in the universe. When the theorists calculate the same quantity using all the known forces and particles in the Standard Model, we do not get the same answer.

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The experiment called Muon g-2 consists of sending particles around a 14-meter ring and then applying it to a magnetic field.

There is more than one concept for what this hypothetical particle might be. The other one is called a leptoquark which is a Z’boson (Z-prime boson). The physicists working at the LHCb experiment at the Large Haldron Collider reported results that could possibly point to a new particle and force.

The researcher involved in the project, Dr. Mitesh Patel from Imperial College London said that one of these experiments could get proof that something is new. It will take more data and measurements to show evidence that these effects are real. Professor Ben Allanach from Cambridge University has already tried naming the fifth force in his theoretical models. Some of the names include ‘flavor force’, the ‘third family hyperforce’, and ‘B minus L2.’

May The Force Exist

The scientists discovered strong evidence for the existence of a new force of nature. There is a chance in a one in a 40,000 that could result in a statistical fluke which equates to a statistical level of confidence described as 4.1 sigmas. The observation being a coincidence is a one in a 3.5 million chance in a level of 5 sigmas.

The new experiment confirmed the results which were found during the experiments at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in 2001. The experiment was submitted to the journal, Physical Review Letter. The Fermilab scientist, Chris Polly who worked on both the experiments said that 20 years have passed since the Brookhaven experiment ended but they could finally resolve the mystery. Polly said that there is less than six percent of the data collected by the Fermilab experiments has been analyzed.

The fifth fundamental force can explain a lot about how the universe works which scientists have been working on for decades. One of them includes the observation that the expansion of the universe was speeding up which attributed to the mysterious phenomenon as dark energy. Researchers have suggested that it could evidence of a fifth force of nature. It is intriguing as there are a lot of unanswered questions that have puzzled scientists and this could help in solving the mystery.

In an article by BBC News, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) in the UK said the result of the study provided strong evidence for the existence of an undiscovered sub-atomic particle or a new force that was enthralling. The results from the Muon g-2 experiment did not come up with a conclusive discovery yet so the wait is on.

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