Short Bytes: A recent laboratory experiment in has hinted at the existence of an unknown fifth fundamental force of nature. This was indicated by an anomaly in radioactive decay that was seen during the experiment that involved looking for dark matter in a thin slice of lithium-7.
A new paper published by the University of California suggests the possibility of the existence of a fifth fundamental force of nature; this has surged excitement in the physics community at large.
The team of physicists in the university has produced a paper which implied that the experiments — which many researchers are set on reproducing the results of — conducted by a team of physicists which act over just the width of an atomic nucleus.
This would mean that it is a force that is not one of the four described as the fundamental forces that underlie modern physics.
The team of physicists in Hungary’s Institute of Science, led by Attila Krasznahorkay, tested the possibility of the existence of dark photons — basically analogous to photons, the main difference being that they work with dark matter. Researchers shot protons at lithium-7 samples creating beryllium-8 nuclei, which, as it decayed, emitted pairs of electrons and positrons.
While they monitored the emitted pairs, there was a slight bump instead of the usual consistent slump off. They attributed this to the possibility of new particles with a mass of about 17 MeV. They published their findings in Physical Review Letters which attracted minimal attention before being mentioned in the paper produced by
Researchers published their findings in Physical Review Letters which attracted minimal attention before being mentioned in the paper produced by the University of California.
They corrected that the particle concluded by the experiment was plausibly a protophobic X boson, and not a dark photon, implying further that they might carry a super short force.
The possibility of the existence of dark photons have been discussed before, but none panned out. But many researchers plan to reproduce the experiments performed by the Hungarian team.