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New groundbreaking technique reveals new details on the long-theorized fifth force of nature

Image showing force
Image: Pixabay

The Standard Model is currently the widely accepted theory of how particles and forces interact at the smallest scales. It describes three fundamental forces in nature: electromagnetic, strong, and weak nuclear force.

But it’s an incomplete explanation of how nature works. Also, other theories suggest the possible presence of a fifth force.

Using a newly developed groundbreaking technique called neutron pendell¨osung interferometry, scientists revealed previously unknown properties of technologically crucial silicon crystals. The method also revealed essential information about a crucial subatomic particle and a long-theorized fifth force of nature.

Scientists mainly focused on subatomic particles called neutrons at silicon crystals. They then monitored the outcome with intense sensitivity.

They obtained three significant results:

  • The first measurement of a critical neutron property in 20 years using a unique method.
  • The highest-precision measurements of the effects of heat-related vibrations in a silicon crystal.
  • Limits on the strength of a possible fifth force beyond standard physics theories.

The research was an international collaboration conducted at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Dmitry Pushin, a member of the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing, said, “This was a multi-year experiment, and we had great results that are technically exciting and opens the door to future technologies.”

Journal Reference:
  1. Benjamin Heacock et al. Pendell” {o}sung Interferometry Probes the Neutron Charge Radius, Lattice Dynamics, and Fifth Forces. arXiv: 2103.05428v1


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