Scientists Search for Fifth Force of Nature

Scientists are on the hunt for a ‘dark force’ of nature that could divulge the universe that lies unknown from observation. Through this hunt, scientists are expected to get a profound insight into the essential forces that connects the common matter of the world around us and the indistinguishable ‘dark sector’.

Scientists predicted that there are very few chances of success, but if it’s found it would revolutionize physics and change how we perceive the world as we know it.

Our universe is made up of all the stars, planets and galaxies that can be seen today and it’s just 4 percent of the universe. The other 96 percent is a mystery made up of dark matter, and the even more mystifying dark energy.

Mauro Raggi, a researcher at the Sapienza University of Rome said, “At the moment, we don’t know what more than 90% of the universe is made of. If we find this force it will completely change the paradigm we have now. It would open up a new world and help us to understand the particles and forces that compose the dark sector.”

In spite of the visible complication within the universe, there are four basic forces which are known to us: Gravitational force, Electromagnetic force, Weak nuclear force, Strong Nuclear Force. These forces are accountable for all interactions known to science.

However, scientists believe that there may be other forces that have gone unobserved. Such forces may be liable for the behavior of the so far unfamiliar particles that form dark matter, and could potentially apply the most delicate effects on the forces we are more known with.

This month, Raggi and his colleagues will turn on an instrument at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics near Rome which is designed to hunt down a possible fifth force of nature. The instrument named PADME is a new test trying to seek this type of event through the precise renewal of the missing mass in the balance between the initial state, comprised by the electron-positron pair and the final state in which only the ordinary photon is detected.

The Padme experiment will run until at least the end of the year, but there are plans to move the instrument to Cornell University in 2021. There it would be captivated to a more powerful particle accelerator than in Italy to broaden its search for dark photons.

Bryan McKinnon, a research fellow at Glasgow University said that if any dark photon exists, it is effectively an entrance. It lets us gaze into the dark sector to see what is happening. It won’t open the floodgates, but it will allow us to have a little look, but even that possibility is exciting for many!


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