Researchers in a lab near Chicago believe they have discovered in their experiments evidence of a fifth fundamental physical reaction, or force. He came across them while studying the properties of muons, that is, particles smaller than atoms, which, according to physicists, are one of the building blocks of every substance in space, the BBC server wrote.
In contemporary physics, the interaction of all particles and things is believed to be responsible for four fundamental forces: gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear force. However, new observations from the Fermilab Experimental Laboratory in Illinois indicate that, according to the scientists, the muons are interacting with each other in an unprecedented way.
“We found that the muon interaction does not conform to the standard model,” said British Professor Mark Lancaster, who participated in the research. The Standard Model is a widely accepted theory that explains what particles are and how these particles interact with each other.
He added, “It is definitely very exciting, because it could indicate a future with new physical laws, new particles, and a new force that we haven’t seen before.”
However, Chicago’s findings cannot yet be made public as a scientific discovery. There is still a 1 in 40,000 chance that this is a statistical error. For a discovery to be caught, the chance of just one coincidence must be at least one in 3.5 million.
However, Professor Ben Alanach of the University of Cambridge, who was not directly involved in the American research, said he had no doubts about the validity of the discovery. “I have been searching for forces and particles that we did not know throughout my career, and this is the moment. This is the moment I have been waiting for, and I will not sleep much now because I am so upset.” BBC.
Muons are elementary particles that resemble electrons, but are about 200 times heavier. In the Muon g-2 experiment, Fermilab sends muons into a ring-shaped electromagnet with a diameter of about 15 meters, which has a very stable and precisely measured magnetic field. According to the Standard Model, muons must “oscillate” at a certain speed. However, the researchers found that they oscillated differently than would theoretically be expected. According to them, this may be due to the action of physical force not yet described.
Physicists also believe that the behavior of a muon could be related to a hitherto undiscovered particle smaller than an atom.
Scientists at the European CERN laboratory near Geneva are also conducting similar experiments that could lead to the discovery of new particles and physical forces. However, the researchers caution that they will have to make a number of other measurements to confirm any conclusions.
If the results of muons prove reliable, the BBC says that scientists may lead to solving some of the great physical mysteries of recent decades, such as clarifying the existence of so-called dark energy. According to some theories, this causes the rate of expansion of the universe to continue to accelerate rather than gradually slow down.