Fifth fundamental force can be discovered with the help of neutrons

For some time, scientists have suspected that there is a fundamental force of nature still unknown, capable of explaining some anomalies observed in some experiments, or even revealing the nature of dark matter, or quantum gravity. Now, a new study has achieved accurate measurements of subatomic scales, providing new tools for the search for the fifth force.

  • Fifth fundamental force discovered? Know all about new muon experiment
  • If we can’t see atoms, how do we know they’re made of smaller particles?
  • What is quantum physics and quantum mechanics?

For the experiment, the scientists used a beam firing of neutrons in silicon samples. Neutrons are particles that, alongside protons, form the nuclei of atoms, and receive this name because they do not have electrical charges. However, the particles that make up neutrons — the quarks — have charges, as we’ll see later.

Using a technique called pendellösung interferometry, the team of physicists led by Benjamin Heacock used the beams of neutrons because, without an electrical charge to interact with the silicon samples, it is possible to achieve greater precision than X-ray techniques. Neutrons are released from their atoms during the nuclear fission process and focused on beams capable of penetrating deeper into the matter to be studied.

Want to catch up on the best tech news of the day? Go and subscribe to our new channel on youtube, Canaltech News.

Every day a summary of the main news in the tech world for you!

In a silicon crystal, there are many parallel sheets of atoms, each forming a flat. The beam’s neutrons ripple through these sheets and reveal different planes and aspects of the crystal (Image: Reproduction/NIST)

In this way, scientists have discovered hitherto unknown information about silicon — a crucial material for the technology, but not very well understood — important to characterize the electronic, mechanical properties and magnetics of microchip components and nanomaterials. In addition, interferometry has revealed new information about the properties of the neutron itself, such as the forces they experience within the crystal. neutron in an unprecedented way, with an uncertainty equivalent to that of more precise experiments that used other methods. But what is this charge radius? Well, remember that, inside neutrons, quarks have charges? There are three of them in each neutron: an up quark, with a charge of +⅔, and two down quarks, with a charge of -⅓. This means that they cancel each other out.

However, these quarks are not evenly distributed, so the predominantly negative charge of a quark type tends to be located on the outside of the neutron, while the positive charge is in the center. The distance between these two parts is the “load radius”. This measure has already been obtained by other experiments, with different results.

Each neutron is composed of three quarks, whose charge sum electrical is zero, which makes the neutron electrically neutral. But the positive charges are mostly found at the center of the neutron, while the negative ones are at the edges (Image: Reproduction/NIST)

The advantage of the method used is that its results are not affected by the factors that can lead to the differences found before. “Unlike previous pendellösung measurements, our technique provides the properties and forces within the crystal with extreme precision — including neutron charge radius and short-range forces — that enhance our understanding not just of silicon, but of the neutrons themselves. ”, said the authors. Short-range forces refer to as-yet-undiscovered forces, such as the hypothetical fifth fundamental force.

The Standard Model of particles describes three fundamental forces: electromagnetic, strong, and weak (it does not includes gravity, normally considered the fourth force because its intermediary particle has not yet been found). Each force operates through the action of a particle, such as the photon, which is the carrier of the electromagnetic force. If there is a fifth force, it should be observed on very small scales, such as the distances between quarks inside a neutron.

According to the new study published in Science, scientists get better the constraints on the force of a fifth potential force in ten times, on a length scale between 0, nanometers (1 nanometer is one billionth of a meter) and 02 nanometers, providing the scientific community with a very specific range where should look for the fifth fundamental force.

Source: EurekAlert, ScienceAlert, NIST

Did you like this article?

Subscribe your email on Canaltech to receive daily updates with the latest news from the world of technology.

502994 502994 502994 502994

Related Articles

Back to top button