The theory that a fifth force of nature could be present has been strengthened by the unexpected wobbling of ‘evil’ subatomic particle, according to recent discoveries.
The standard model of particle physics provides an explanation for the four fundamental forces that exist in nature, with the electromagnetic force and the strong and weak nuclear forces being the three main ones.
The model fails to account for the other fundamental force, which is gravity or dark matter, a mysterious and peculiar substance that is believed to make up around 27% of the universe.
The fifth force of nature, as suggested by researchers, could be present in the existing phenomenon.
According to Dr Mitesh Patel from Imperial College London, the existence of a fifth force is not easily explicable in experiments that involve the four known forces.
The Fermilab US particle accelerator facility’s experiments analyzed the movement of subatomic particles known as muons, which are about 200 times heavier than electrons and similar to them, in a magnetic field.
The muons, as per Patel, exhibit a similar motion pattern to bumbling children when they move around the magnetic field’s axis. However, their movement causes them to wobble, which can be predicted by the standard model.
The experimental outcomes obtained by FermiLab do not seem to align with those predictions.
Prof Jon Butterworth from University College London, who is conducting the Atlas experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at Cern, explained that the muon’s magnetic interaction is responsible for the wobbles, which can be accurately calculated in the standard model but require computation based on quantum loops and known particles.
If the measurements don’t match the prediction, it could imply that an unknown particle is present in the loops, potentially acting as the carrier of a fifth force.
The results are a continuation of previous research conducted by FermiLab that yielded similar findings.
Patel observed a “fly in the ointment” and noted that there has been an increase in uncertainty surrounding the theoretical prediction of frequency between the initial results and the new data.
Patel suggested that the situation could be altered. He suggested this may be based on conventional scientific principles, which are commonly known as the standard model.
There are other concerns. Butterworth stated that they will discover new and exciting things once the discrepancy is confirmed, but they won’t be able to confirm it with certainty.
The discrepancy could potentially generate new theoretical ideas that lead to new predictions, such as identifying the particle that carries the new force. The ultimate confirmation would be to conduct an experiment to directly uncover that particle.
Fermilab experiments have demonstrated the possibility of a fifth force, while the LHC has also yielded intriguing results.
Patel, who worked on the LHC experiments, stated that the results had become less coherent.
“They are separate tests, measuring different things, and there may or may not be a correlation between them,” he stated.
Butterworth noted that the muons’ wobbles, which were unexpected, were one of the most significant differences between a measurement and the standard model.
The measurement is a significant accomplishment and may not be error-prone, according to the speaker. If the theory predictions are validated, it could constitute the first confirmed evidence of supplementary force or something else beyond the standard model.