A 'Fifth Force' Discovered By Scientists

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Paigntonian | 21:12 Wed 07th Apr 2021 | Science
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TV news. No link. Looks interesting.


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E≠mc² ^ E=mcxψ
To be more precise, strong (although not yet compelling) evidence of a significant tension between experimental results and theoretical calculations about the properties of a muon. That is not necessarily evidence of a fifth force -- yet! It could be a misunderstanding of our present theories, which is unlikely, although some of the calculations are quite tricky, and as I understand it there are several new calculations on the way that could change the picture and reduce the tension.

What's more exciting from today's talk, imo, is the fact that this result is based on just the first part of a much larger set of data. I think the rest of that data set, or at least most of it, is due to be processed and analysed by the middle of next year -- that would squeeze the error in experiment down by more than enough that if this result is anything to go by then it will be a "5 sigma" tension (which is to say a one in 3 million or so chance of a fluke).

The other thing, though, that *does* speak to a "fifth force" is that this is an anomaly with the same particle that is involved with other interesting results from the last decade or so. Put all together, it feels increasingly compelling that this will lead to something new in our understanding before too long.
It's marvellous that scientists are excited and happy to find a suggestion that there are things about the world which we didn't know.
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Jim360. A sincere question. Might it be the case that this might benefit mankind in some way like, for example, the discovery of the human genome or DNA?
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Atheist. There will always be things about the world that we didn't know.
Indeed! It's quite an exciting time for particle physicists, too, after the LHC's early results probably deflated some a little who were expecting, or perhaps only half-expecting, to see something new more or less immediately.
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Jim: how might things change for the better?
It's very difficult to see right now what the tangible benefits of this discovery might be. That may just be my own lack of imagination, mind!

Best way of putting it is that everything more we understand about how the Universe works on a fundamental level is something we can hope to put to use sooner or later. If I had been alive in the 1930s, for example, I could very well imagine that I'd struggle to picture a use for antimatter, but it's now a standard tool in medicine.
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''s now a standard tool in medicine'. News to me but a bit thick with these concepts.
There's also the indirect benefits. The need to collate particle physics data internationally and in an efficient way gave us the world wide web; the need to create and sustain strong magnetic fields, or supercooling technology, or other of the myriad engineering challenges that designing and building these experiments take, also clearly have a long-term value even if the fundamental physics moves beyond easy application itself.
I wish I was clever enough to understand all this, but I remain constantly amazed at the intelligence of people in this field, and I enjoy reading the dumbed down explanations - I find it truly fascinating.
Glad to be of help, DD -- any other questions, feel free to ask, I'll do my best!

For the record, although I claimed an indirect connection (via citations my supervisor picked up) with the LHCb result I talked about a few weeks back, I've had nothing at all to do with this experiment or the theory behind it -- but it *is* still related to what I do, so I hopefully will be able to help answer any other questions y'all may have.
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Jim: Getting there now. Sounds good. Must be a great buzz for people in your field when these massive quandaries are resolved.
We must hope that the "scientists" don't follow the examples of their predecessors and make the development of new and exciting weapons the first option.
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Togo; I think that in most cases it was the politicians demanding of scientists that their efforts were expended on the potential development of weapons, politicians with the funds and the power.
What's even better is that the "resolutions" will just open up even more questions. A couple that instantly spring to mind:

1. why is this new stuff only showing up in "indirect" experiments -- experiments trying to look for dark matter, or just anything new, showing up as "missing energy" in particle colliders, have, to my knowledge, found nothing, but in experiments looking to see how that new stuff influences things we *can* detect are apparently more successful. But they should, in the long run, both see the same new stuff.

2. Why is this new stuff so heavily skewed towards muons specifically?

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