Saturday, April 9, 2011

New fundamental force

The Tevatron collider in Illinois has possibly discovered a new unanticipated particle.  There's a 0.1% chance of a statistical error, and with so many experiments run, 0.1% is more likely than it sounds like.  However, the result remains.  The team of physicists that discovered this particle have a long set of number crunching ahead to confirm or deny the result now.   They need to make the percent chance of the particle being an error less than 0.000001% chance for it to be considered a formal discovery.

If it is confirmed, it may end up being a 5th fundamental force.  The others being strong and weak nuclear forces, electromagnetism and gravity.  I have to wonder if scientists working on grand unification theory to relate all forces are hoping it turns out to be a fluke!  They already need string theory and 11 dimensions to relate the 4 forces.  Usually things get considerably more complicated as more is considered.  For instance, to figure something simple like how fast an object will fall on Earth, you can use the classic equations of kinetic motion.  To get a really accurate measurement you also need to consider wind blowing the object, the density of the air (which changes at every altitude) and the viscosity of the air.  All these things make F = mg  a much longer equation.  Imagine adding a new fundamental force to an 11 dimension equation!

Here's a link to one of the news stories run on it:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13000253

17 comments:

  1. Interesting stuff :) I can't imagine how much more complicated things would become to figure out if this new fundamental force gets approved.

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  2. Dude, this is amazing! I enjoy theoretical subatomic particle physics, and to hear about the possibility of a fifth fundamental force is incredible.

    Perhaps the fifth force will be the unifier?

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  3. I'm surprised that this didn't came out of the LHC

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  4. I literally understand nothing of this.

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  5. ooh, parallel universes, i'm interested.

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  6. This is relevant to my interests. very very relevant. I hope its not a fluke!

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  7. thanks for linking the article, I'll read up on this

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  8. Grand unification theorists are in a pickle indeed. Very interesting article.

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  9. Ever think of writing for that show the "Big Bang Theory"?

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  10. Man if its true it could really change our understanding of universe.

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  11. Another? Wow this is some awesome stuff

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  12. Very surprising information. I can't believe that another fundamental force may be right at the next corner.

    Great post, very informative. Thank you for sharing thing.

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