Have We Found The Fifth Force Of Nature?!


I can use one of the four fundamental forces
of nature, to defy the other, right here, right now. Boom. [uses balloon and sticks it to self]
TAKE THAT GRAVITY. ELECTROMAGNETISM FOREVER. Howdy boson buddies, this is DNews, I’m Trace! There are four fundamental forces in the universe. You know them, you love them, you’re feeling
some right now: those are gravity, electromagnetism, weak nuclear and strong nuclear. Each of these forces (mostly) fit into the
standard model of physics, the rulebook by which physicists explain our universe. Gravity is a bit… weird. By the way, if you don’t know what those Fundamental
Forces are about, you should probably watch this video. Recently, a new discovery out of the Hungarian
Academy of Sciences got the media abuzz about a possible fifth fundamental force. But, according to their paper in Physical
Review Letters they didn’t really discover a new force. Nope, what they found was *drum roll* an anomaly.4
The team was looking for “dark photons,”5 which sounds like an awesome Norwegian Death
Metal band, but in reality, it was a theorized subatomic particle related to dark matter. Dark matter is scientists’ name for matter
that doesn’t interact with the normal stuff the universe seems to be made of — you, me,
the rock, the tree, the sun, and so on. The researchers said, their data anomaly might
be a “protophobic X boson” that’s 30 times more massive than an electron. Later, in a review, scientists at the University
of California, Irvine said this might indicate there is a fifth fundamental force of nature
that no one had ever detected before. But first, lemme explain. Bosons are a group of subatomic particles,
theorized by Einstein and Satyendra Nath Bose; boson for Bose. The science is a bit complex, but essentially
bosons are particles which can exist in multiple states, and spin with an integer or zero… Don’t worry about it, but a good example would
be the photon: the particles that make up light, which can also be waves — multiple
states. Look, it’s not super important to understand,
just picture a tiny part of an atom. Each of these bosons interacts in some way,
which is how we can detect their presence. For example, the photon interacts with electrons
(which are negatively charged) and protons (which are positively charged), right? That’s all part of the electromagnetic power
of the photon. Physicists believe each fundamental force
of nature has a corresponding subatomic particle. As I mentioned, the “photon” carries electromagnetic
force, strong nuclear force is carried by the “gluon,” weak nuclear force is carried
by “W and Z” bosons, and (theoretically) gravity would be carried by the “graviton.” Although, admittedly, scientists haven’t found
that one yet. So, if this new boson discovery is confirmed,
(and it hasn’t been yet), it would show a force that interacts with electrons (which,
again, are negatively charged) and neutrons (no charge at all)! This is super strange! The lead researcher from the UC Irvine team
speculates that this could be the indication of a “grander, more fundamental force” but
it could also be the key to finally detecting “dark matter.” Which, again, is matter in the universe that
haven’t been able to detect, because it doesn’t seem to interact with anything! This “protophobic X boson” interacts very
lightly, and in unexpected ways22, and that could physicists to start looking for interactions
that they would have easily missed otherwise! A new force could add more chapters to the
Standard Model of Physics. Of course, we don’t know yet. Other scientists at European Organization
for Nuclear Research are looking to confirm these findings, and some scientists are skeptical
of the findings ALTOGETHER!! So more research is DEFINITELY needed. Practically speaking, we have no idea what
confirmation of this could prove. In 600 BC, the Greeks discovered if you rub
animal fur on a bit of amber you’d get a strange attraction. Now we know it’s static electricity, but it
would be centuries before we’d learned to master electromagnetism. These new chapters of science have to start
somewhere, and maybe, just maybe, this was it. Want to know how they smash atoms together
to find new particles? I went to the Large Hadron Collider and got
a tour!! IT WAS SO COOL. Here’s how it works.