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'Strong' evidence found for a FIFTH force of nature: Physicists reveal 'tantalising' results from particle experiment that could rewrite the laws of physics

 Scientists believe they may have discovered a fifth force of nature, after observing tiny subatomic particles behaving in an unusual way.

A new analysis sent tiny muon particles, which are similar to an electron, through a 15-ton electromagnet to measure how they 'wobble'.

Called the Muon g-2 experiment, as the particles travelled along the 50-foot long magnetic track, they wobbled 0.1 per cent off the Standard Model that has been used for 50 years.


This suggests the muon could be interacting with undiscovered particles or forces, and because they form naturally when cosmic rays strike Earth's atmosphere, these results could change how we believe the universe works.

The UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) said the result 'provides strong evidence for the existence of an undiscovered sub-atomic particle or new force'.

However, they caution that there is a one in a 40,000 chance that the result could be a statistical error.  


The first results of the Muon g-2 experiment that used a 15-ton electromagnet (pictured) to study the behaviour of fundamental particles showed the behaviour of muons contradicts the basic way physicists think the universe works

 The first results of the Muon g-2 experiment that used a 15-ton electromagnet (pictured) to study the behaviour of fundamental particles showed the behaviour of muons contradicts the basic way physicists think the universe works


Prominent English particle physicist Professor Brian Cox called the result 'important and exciting'. 

'It is getting close to the discovery of new physics beyond the Standard Model –new fundamental particles basically,' he tweeted.

'It would be the biggest discovery in Particle Physics for many years – certainly up there with The Higgs Boson.' 

The Muon g-2 experiment searches for signs of new particles and forces by precisely examining the muon’s interaction with a surrounding magnetic field.

The muon, when placed in the magnetic field, itself acts like a tiny magnetic compass and like a gyroscope, this compass rotates at a certain precise frequency, predicted by the Standard Model.

However, the g-2 collaboration has measured this rotation to be faster than predicted – suggesting that our current understanding of physics is incomplete.  

'It is an exciting time to be a particle physicist,' said Professor Mark Thomson, executive chair of STFC.

'We know that our current understanding of the universe is incomplete.

'What we are now seeing from leading experiments, such as g-2, could be the first glimpses behind the curtain into a new world of physics.' 

The peculiar behaviour challenges the Standard Model developed about 50 years ago – the collection of equations that catalogues the fundamental particles in the universe and how they interact. 

Michio Kaku, a world leading string theorist, says this could be the clue needed in the search for a universal theory of everything, that he calls the 'God Equation'.

'Is this a signal of the Final Theory? Many physicists hope so. Einstein once said that if you see a lion’s tail, perhaps there might be a lion attached to it. Any tiny deviation from the Standard Model would be a tail pointing to the true theory.' 


Chris Polly, a physicist at the at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), told The New York Times: 'This is our Mars rover landing moment.'

The point of the experiments, explained Johns Hopkins University theoretical physicist David Kaplan, is to pull apart particles and find out if there's 'something funny going on' with both the particles and the seemingly empty space between them.

'The secrets don't just live in matter. They live in something that seems to fill in all of space and time. These are quantum fields,' Kaplan said. 'We're putting energy into the vacuum and seeing what comes out.'  

The current working model of physics states that there are four fundamental forces of nature – gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak and strong forces between atoms. 

Experiments performed over decades affirmed over and again that its descriptions of the particles and the forces that make up and govern the universe were pretty much on the mark – until now.

'When viewed together with the recent measurements from CERN’s LHCb experiment, there seems to be a pattern emerging of muons behaving differently than our theory predicts,' Professor Lancaster said. 

Prominent English physicist Professor Brian Cox called the result 'important and exciting'

Prominent English physicist Professor Brian Cox called the result 'important and exciting'

The groundbreaking experiment was conducted at Fermi National Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois.

Fermi National Laboratory has the technology to create the muons in particle accelerators, which can produce them in large numbers. 

A muon is about 200 times as massive as its cousin, the electron, and form naturally when cosmic rays strike Earth's atmosphere.

After it was discovered in 1936 it so confounded scientists that a famous physicist asked 'Who ordered that?' 

Researchers at Fermi National Laboratory in Batavia aimed to measure how magnetic muons are by watching them wobble as they travelled around the massive magnet. The study showed the magnetic wobble of muons is 0.1 percent off what the Standard Model predicts

Researchers at Fermi National Laboratory in Batavia aimed to measure how magnetic muons are by watching them wobble as they travelled around the massive magnet. The study showed the magnetic wobble of muons is 0.1 percent off what the Standard Model predicts

As the muons travel around the Muon g-2 magnet, they also come in contact with a quantum foam of subatomic particles popping in and out of existence

As the muons travel around the Muon g-2 magnet, they also come in contact with a quantum foam of subatomic particles popping in and out of existence

Graziano Venanzoni, an experimental physicist at an Italian national lab, who is one of the top scientists on the US Fermilab experiment, said: 'Since the very beginning it was making physicists scratch their heads.' 

Researchers at Fermi National Laboratory aimed to measure how magnetic muons are by watching them wobble as they travelled around the massive magnet. 

Like electrons, muons act as if they have a tiny internal magnet and when placed in a a strong magnetic field, the direction of the muon's magnet precesses or wobbles – similar to a spinning top. 

The strength of the internal magnet determines the rate that the muon precesses in an external magnetic field and is described by a number that physicists call the g-factor. 

And this number can be calculated with ultra-high precision. 

There is a one in a 40,000 chance that the result could be a statistical error and one in 3.5 million chances the observation is a coincidence, which is needed to claim a discovery

There is a one in a 40,000 chance that the result could be a statistical error and one in 3.5 million chances the observation is a coincidence, which is needed to claim a discovery

Fermilab, located in Chicago, Illinois, is able to create them in particle accelerators that can produce them in large numbers.

Fermilab, located in Chicago, Illinois, is able to create them in particle accelerators that can produce them in large numbers.

The strength of the internal magnet determines the rate that the muon precesses in an external magnetic field and is described by a number that physicists call the g-factor. And this number can be calculated with ultra-high precision

The strength of the internal magnet determines the rate that the muon precesses in an external magnetic field and is described by a number that physicists call the g-factor. And this number can be calculated with ultra-high precision

As the muons travel around the Muon g-2 magnet, they also come in contact with a quantum foam of subatomic particles popping in and out of existence.

Quantum foam stems from Einstein's idea that gravity is caused by warping and curving spacetime.

Experts previously suggested that spacetime is not smooth, but similar to the frothy remains of a bottle of beer – foamy. 

The Standard Model predicts this so-called anomalous magnetic moment extremely precisely. 

But if the quantum foam contains additional forces or particles not accounted for by the Standard Model, that would tweak the muon g-factor further.

New finding questions the guiding theory of particle physics
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Theoretical physicist Matthew McCullough of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, said untangling the mysteries could 'take us beyond our current understanding of nature.'

Wayne State University particle physicist Alexey Petrov, said: 'New particles, new physics might be just beyond our research. It's tantalising.'

Researchers need another year or two to finish analysing the results of all of the laps around the 50-foot (14-meter) track. If the results don't change, it will count as a major discovery, Venanzoni said.

Theoretical physicist, Michio Kaku, has recently published a new book on the search for a universal theory of everything called The God Equation, and in it he suggests that the standard model is incomplete, a 'theory of almost everything'.

'The standard model truly describes the known sub-atomic world. The problem, however, is it is one of the ugliest theories in physics,' he said.

Michio Kaku, a world leading string theorist, says this could be the clue needed in the search for a universal theory of everything

Michio Kaku, a world leading string theorist, says this could be the clue needed in the search for a universal theory of everything

'It has 36 quarks and anti-quarks, 20 free parameters, a large number of gauge particles, neutrinos, and Higgs bosons. It is a theory only a mother can love. 

'But how can Nature, at the most fundamental level, create such an ugly theory. Even its creators admit it cannot be the Final Theory.'

Kaku, one of the world's leading string theorists and professor of theoretical physics at the City College of New York, said physicists have been searching for even the tiniest deviation in the standard model.

Wobbles, new forces and changes in the way particles interact could be used to 'give us a clue to the real fundamental theory,' explained Kaku.  

2 comments:

  1. These guys need to contact Bush and Cheney, as they discovered how to SUSPEND the Laws of Physics on 9/11. They might be able to offer some interesting insights

    ~ Occams

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well said, razor. Let's not forget Rummy and the NORAD gang. And Miz Rice, of course.

    ReplyDelete