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Thread: Fifth force?

  1. #1
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    Fifth force?

    Is the following article serious?

    https://www.sciencealert.com/physici...orce-of-nature

    If so how long will it take until the new force is harnessed?

  2. #2
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    I think itís clearly serious, but it is not clear what they are seeing. It is still speculative to say there is a fifth force.

    And as far as harnessing it, it might be never as it doesnít seem to be very strong, and the only effect it would seem to be in nature is to slightly modify orbital dynamics.


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    As above, so below

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I think itís clearly serious, but it is not clear what they are seeing. It is still speculative to say there is a fifth force.

    And as far as harnessing it, it might be never as it doesnít seem to be very strong, and the only effect it would seem to be in nature is to slightly modify orbital dynamics.


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    Ok thanks!

  4. #4
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    Donít get excited until there is solid independent verification. Decades ago there was an anomalous gravity measurement (I think underground, but I have forgotten the details) that news articles were calling evidence for a fifth force. Eventually the researchers determined there had been a subtle measurement mistake and that was that.

    So here is something wildly different also being called evidence for a fifth force. Most of these claims donít pan out, so it isnít worth getting invested in the preliminary claims.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." ó Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    And as far as harnessing it, it might be never as it doesn’t seem to be very strong, and the only effect it would seem to be in nature is to slightly modify orbital dynamics.
    The article is about something more like a weak force. Basically it posits that an unexpected preference for certain angles at a certain energy during the emission of leptons in two high energy interactions is due to a medium-weight intermediate boson state. There's no reason to link it to orbital dynamics at this point.

    Edit to add: See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X17_particle

  6. #6
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    Here are the problems about the article:
    "The study seemed robust enough, and soon attracted the attention of other researchers around the globe who suggested that a whole new particle could be responsible for the anomaly."
    Except there are still only two people claiming any of this is true. So that's not at all "robust." Nuclear theorists are starving for new results, so it's no surprise they would want to start theorizing about new particles and new forces, but none of this can really be terribly exciting until the experiment is corroborated.

    And:
    "Similar to their previous discovery, the researchers found pairs of electrons and positrons separating at an angle that didn't match currently accepted models."
    Note again "the researchers." It's only two guys, no one else is involved. The potential for fraud is still too high. Fraud in science is quite rare, but finding a fifth force is rarer still, so I know where my money is. It's also possible there is an honest mistake here, and there can often be a kind of combination-- a researcher who is a little too eager making a mistake that is a little too subconsciously intentional. All the possibilities are on the table until there is independent confirmation, and the history of science is pretty clear on the relative likelihoods here.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaula View Post
    The article is about something more like a weak force. Basically it posits that an unexpected preference for certain angles at a certain energy during the emission of leptons in two high energy interactions is due to a medium-weight intermediate boson state. There's no reason to link it to orbital dynamics at this point.
    Yes, thanks for that clarification. I hadn't intended to make it seem that I thought it was, merely that the physicists are speculating that it could give some insights into dark matter. But I think the posts by you and Swift are clearly correct--this is just an interesting observation and it is very preliminary to assume they have actually found a new force.
    As above, so below

  8. #8
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    Interesting take by a particle physicist who specialized in data analysis ...

    The 17 MeV Anomaly That Would Not Die

    I rather like this:

    This does not mean they cannot possibly have bumped into something interesting: but if I were the referee of their article, my assessment would be "MAJOR REVISIONS, and run a [language] SPELL-CHECKER before you even think of resubmitting!"

    (Yeah, very likely not evidence of a fifth force )
    Last edited by slang; 2019-Nov-26 at 05:16 AM. Reason: language

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean Tate View Post
    Interesting take by a particle physicist who specialized in data analysis ...

    The 17 MeV Anomaly That Would Not Die

    I rather like this:

    This does not mean they cannot possibly have bumped into something interesting: but if I were the referee of their article, my assessment would be "MAJOR REVISIONS, and run a [language] SPELL-CHECKER before you even think of resubmitting!"

    (Yeah, very likely not evidence of a fifth force )
    I only glossed over the article, but if they wrote it with spelling errors, then not professional.
    Last edited by slang; 2019-Nov-26 at 05:16 AM. Reason: language

  10. #10
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    They are Hungarian. They may have used Google Translate. Or maybe they should have.

    Spell checkers can be pretty useless for any sort of technical work. They don't know the words you need to use. When worked at Boeing I got real good at turning off MS Word autocorrect every time it got turned back on during a software update.

    What they needed to do was to write it in Hungarian then have it translated by a native English speaker with a good command of the technical subject.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  11. #11
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    Dear me. That shouty spell-checker remark is just pointless and a little embarrassing.

    When I was a referee for a medical journal, in a former life, we were explicitly told not to remark on the spelling or grammar, since many of the submitting authors did not speak English as their first language, and such problems could easily be addressed by a sub-editor if the science was sound enough to merit publication. Occasionally I'd query a particular turn of phrase that rendered the meaning unclear, but the issue under consideration is the science, not the spelling.

    Grant Hutchison

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Dear me. That shouty spell-checker remark is just pointless and a little embarrassing.
    Indeed. The article actually had some good points about the lack of studies into systemic effects but kind of confounded it and made the focus of what they were saying about spelling, grammar and poorly worded sections.

    It sounds like a cop out but fundamentally - they have an couple of interesting results but a lot of work needs to be done before these get promoted to the status of something meriting community wide attention.

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