Fermilab Scientists Nearing Discovery of Fifth Force of Nature

Scientists sometimes make bold claims about where their research might lead, but the most weighty assertions are usually scaled back or forgotten entirely as new data becomes available. Several years ago, scientists at Fermilab suggested they were on track to discover a new fundamental force, and this time there’s no backtracking. In a new announcement, Fermilab says the Muon g-2 experiment has demonstrated continued evidence of new, currently unexplained physics.Our understanding of the universe is explained by physicists using a framework known as the Standard Model. Scientists know the Standard Model works because it can be used to make predictions about the universe that (mostly) hold up under experimentation. Observations that the Standard Model fails to describe prove that our picture of the universe is still incomplete. For example, the Standard Model fails to explain the increased expansion of the universe, which cosmologists pin on dark matter and dark energy, which are incompatible with the Standard Model.

In 2021, Fermilab researchers announced the first results from the Muon g-2 experiment, which accelerates fundamental particles called muons in a giant toroidal magnet (above). Muons have negative charges like electrons but are about 200 times as massive. When particles with both charge and spin get close to the speed of light, as in the g-2 particle accelerator, we can detect how fast they gyrate. That’s called the “g-factor.”

The Standard Model says muons should have a g-factor of 2. In 2021, Fermilab said muons have anomalous g-factors slightly less than 2 that the Standard Model cannot explain. Scientists have speculated that the Muon g-2 experiment is detecting a new fundamental force. We currently know of four: gravity, electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force (nuclear cohesion), and the weak nuclear force (radioactive decay). The discovery of a fifth could rewrite physics

Read on at: Fermilab Scientists Nearing Discovery of Fifth Force of Nature

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