We all know that there are four fundamental forces of nature. There may be the fifth fundamental force. Scientists have actually suspected its presence for a very long time now. Unfortunately, they did not find any proof. May be, they will be able to prove that the fifth fundamental force indeed exists.
Fundamental Force – The Fantastic Four in Action
The first force is gravity. We all know about it. It is the force that binds our entire solar system together. Then, there is electromagnetism. This fundamental force binds the atoms together. The third one is strong nuclear force known for binding nucleus. Finally, there is the weak nuclear force as is evident in case of radioactive decays.
The Paradox and the Fifth Fundamental Force
We also know that 80% of total mass of our universe is made up of dark matter. But we know very little about it. We don’t even know what kind of force acts on it and keeps it in place. This is the paradox. We know that something exists. The problem is that we are only aware of its existence. We know nothing more than that. The governing force for dark matter is what the scientists believe to be the 5th force of Nature.
Fifth Fundamental Force and the Hungarian Laboratory
In the Institute for Nuclear Research of Hungarian Academy of Science, located in Debrecen, there is a researcher named Attila Krasznahorkay. This young researcher was hunting for the fifth fundamental force in what is rumored to be dark photons. What are dark photons? Dark photons are described as photons, which can be detected only when they decay into positrons and electrons. Now what are positrons? Positrons are subatomic particles which have following properties:
- The numerical charge of a positron is same as that of electron.
- The charge of a positron is positive instead of being negative as an electron.
- A positron has the same mass as that of an electron.
Earlier this year (2016) in January, Attila Krasznahorkay made an announcement. He said that he eventually found a dark photon. How? According to Attila, he used Lithium-7 and fired protons at it. This in turn resulted in the formation of Beryllium-8 nuclei. These newly formed nuclei were unstable and they quickly disintegrated into positrons and electrons.
The mass of the newly formed particle was 17 megaelectronvolts (referred to as MeV). So, the particle’s name was given as 17-MeV.
Skeptics Around and Fifth Fundamental Force
Attila Krasznahorkay thinks that he discovered the dark photon. However, the paper he published back in January didn’t receive much of a publicity as it was supposed to. Recently however, University of California’s theoretical physicists took a closer look at the publication. They ended up with a conclusion that Krasznahorkay actually discovered protophobic X boson.
Now, what the hell is a protophobic X boson? It is actually a fundamental particle like Higgs Boson or God Particle and photons. The protophobic X boson is really a big deal even if it is not the dark photon that Krasznahorkay was looking for.
If protophobic X boson does exists then it means coupling of neutrons and electrons, leading to the formation of a new energy force. Still, though an anomaly, Attila actually did find a new kind of force. The University of California scientists too published their own findings and published the same. They called this force, the fifth fundamental force.
Other Experiments for Finding Fifth Fundamental Force
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility located in Virginia is also conducting experiments. The DarkLight experiments conducted by this facility is meant for searching dark photons. The only difference is that they are looking for masses anywhere between 10 and 100 MeV. Of course, they might try to recreate 17-MeV – the work of Attila Krasznahorkay. CERN that found Higgs Boson has also mentioned that experiments will be conducted there. Several laboratories in Russia and Rome will also run experiments to validate the existence of fifth fundamental force.