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Scientists probe ‘fifth force of nature’ as ‘exciting’ breakthrough could rewrite physics

  • October 20, 2021

Dr Cliff said this was an unexpected result as the muon is virtually a clone of the electron except for being 200 times heavier.

According to the expert, all of the known forces should pull on the electrons and muons with equal strength when decaying.

Instead, Dr Cliff and his colleagues have observed the muon decay only occurred about 85 percent as often as electron decay.

The physicist, who discussed the results in an article for The Conversation, said: “Assuming the result is correct, the only way to explain such an effect would be if some new force of nature that pulls on electrons and muons differently is interfering with how beauty quarks decay.

“The result caused huge excitement among particle physicists.

“We’ve been searching for signs of something beyond the standard model for decades, and despite ten years of work at the LHC, nothing conclusive has been found so far.”

The discovery of a new force, he added, would be a “huge deal” and could potentially solve some of the fundamental mysteries of the cosmos like dark matter.

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