A Fifth Force of Nature Discovered?

Is there a fifth force? The four well known forces in nature are gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak and strong forces between atoms. But recently a team of Hungarian researchers from the Institute of Nuclear Research of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences have published a paper on Arxiv.org titled “Observation of Anomalous Internal Pair Creation in 8Be: A Possible Signature of a Light, Neutral Boson”. They report that that in an experiment firing protons at lithium-7, they detected a super-light boson that was only 34 times heavier than an electron.

The team was looking for evidence of a “dark photon” which is theorized to make up 80 per cent of the universe, but that was not what they found.

Here’s an excerpt from a report at Nature:

Krasznahorkay says his group was searching for evidence of just such a dark photon – but Feng’s team think they found something different. The Hungarian team fired protons at thin targets of lithium-7, which created unstable beryllium-8 nuclei that then decayed and spat out pairs of electrons and positrons. According to the standard model, physicists should see that the number of observed pairs drops as the angle separating the trajectory of the electron and positron increases. But the team reported that at about 140º, the number of such emissions jumps — creating a ‘bump’ when the number of pairs are plotted against the angle — before dropping off again at higher angles.

Krasznahorkay says that the bump is strong evidence that a minute fraction of the unstable beryllium-8 nuclei shed their excess energy in the form of a new particle, which then decays into an electron–positron pair. He and his colleagues calculate the particle’s mass to be about 17 megaelectronvolts (MeV).

Whether this could be connected with LENR I don’t know, but I notice some similarity with what Andrea Rossi and Norman Cook stated in their paper titled ‘On the Nuclear Mechanisms Underlying the Heat Production by the “E-Cat”’ where they write:

“We argue that a major source of energy is a reaction between the first excited-state of 7Li4 and a proton, followed by the breakdown of 8Be4 into two alphas with high kinetic energy, but without gamma radiation.”

  • LCD

    Wouldnt there be some data in the accelerator experiments that could corroborate this?

  • gdaigle

    As ScienceAlert mentioned, there are several theories of potential fifth forces (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_force) and those are just the mainstream ones. Remember that this is a very local force (if a force at all) with a range of only 12 femtometres. Definitely nuclear in scale and not at all on the scale of electro-weak, and certainly not on the scale of gravity. It is curious as to why the LHC or other much smaller facilities have not seen evidence of this before. As for breaking the standard model, it’s pretty broken already unless you ignore dark matter, dark energy, differing proton radii, differing neutron lifetimes, etc.

    • f sedei

      I’m hesitant to accept LENR being a “local force”. I always suspected it wasn’t. Too many unknowns surround the LENR phenomenon. We really don’t know much of all there is to know. Maybe the effect occurs many times or constantly throughout the earth and universe, set off by yet undiscovered, natural catalysts.Maybe it causes heat in earth’s core, the stars and the life giving sun.Sound far fetched? Or, maybe not. Other professional rational is just the seemingly best conclusions of respected scientists. We named LENR because it seemed at the time the best plausible description for an unknown force. Maybe it is a fifth force, with a number of more forces to be named and discovered. Or, as you infer, have been found and not named as such. However, I believe most LENR fans know or strongly suspect much more is to be learned and accomplished with this magnificent discovery. Maybe, we will be the fortunate observers of the initial world wide and long waited implementation of Ecat. Just an opinion.

    • Stephen

      I think some neutron capture cross sections might be of a similar scale. I believe these can be several times a nucleus size as well. I wonder if this is a coincidence or not even if they were using proton bombardment in this case.

  • pg

    It was discovered a long time ago, it’s called p…y!!!!

  • Billy Jackson

    A 5th Force of Nature…. they found my wife O.o

  • Brokeeper

    The word “dark” is associated with energy or matter having undetectable effects. Now there is a theory, howbeit started with Lemaitre and Hubble in the 1920’s, that dark energy affects the 4th dimension time, flowing in one-direction and linked to the expansion of space. This often referred to as the positive “cosmological constant” by Einstein’s original theory about a ‘force’ which held back gravity to achieve a static universe. Is this the undetectable 5th force?


    • Zephir

      In dense aether model the gravity arises from shielding of longitudinal waves of vacuum (which are extradimensional by their very nature in similar way, like the underwater sound waves for 2D water surface). But massive bodies are shielding this shielding too and it leads to dark matter force and effects, especially during solar eclipses and planetary conjunctions (Allais effects and another anomalies). These effects are scale invariant so that they may apply for cold fusion too as I believe, this fusion is initiated by low-dimensional collisions of multiple atoms along the single line. During these collisions a effects similar to Allais effect may apply even at the atom nuclei scale.

      The memo is, the extradimensions of vacuum may manifest itself just during low-dimensional arrangement of matter and vice-versa.

      • Zephir

        The Casimir force is the consequence of the fact, that the vacuum is not still environment, but dynamic undulating system. The analogy of Casimir force can be demonstrated even at the water surface https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-GnwnEnLCA

        The point is, the intensity of these fluctuations increases with the decreasing scale, as Einstein already noted during his observation of Brownian noise at small scales. http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2010/may/21/lasers-make-measurement-einstein-called-impossible Therefore the strength of Casimir force must rise at these small scales too. At certain threshold it will get so intensive, that the individual force carriers (i.e. the solitons of vacuum or bosons) could be observed.

        • Zephir

          Please note that the photons make the vacuum more dense in general. But the Casimir effect is formed with shielding of virtual photons. So that if some bosons are exchanged by Casimir force at small distance, we should imagine them rather like the bubbles of negative energy than the more dense blobs. This insight makes the connection to the scalar waves forming the dark matter, because the scalar waves behave in similar way – their solitons are just much larger and subtler. Therefore the Casimir force can be also imagined like the dark matter effect at short distances. It also shares some attributes with dark matter, like the worm hole behavior (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scharnhorst_effect)

  • Zephir

    The some kind of dark matter / Casimir force interaction can apply even for cold fusion mechanism, but IMO the cold fusion effects are way too intensive for to rely on some subtle, weak unconfirmed yet force. From this reason I do proposed more robust mechanisms for its explanation.


    Such an explanation involves the temporal formation of dense vacuum around entangled atom nuclei, which are colliding along a single line.


    When this dense artifact decays, it may favor the symmetrical decay rather than nonsymetric routes of nuclear reactions, because multiple atom nuclei decay in a single moment and their neutrons share momentum.

  • Zephir

    This research is about very subtle effect observed during decay of special atom nuclei, which are composed of two halves flyings around itself at small distance in similar way, like the core of the peanut comets. When such an atom nuclei get excited by impact of proton of certain energies, then they decay with many routes, during one of which the excess of electron-positron pairs has been observed. During collider experiments such an effect wasn’t observed so far, as it disappears inside the background noise, because the energy of collisions cannot be tuned so well.

    We already know, that the analogy of Casimir force applied even at the atom nuclei scales as it manifest itself with Lamb shift and many other effects. We already observed hints of tetraquark, neutronium or pentaneutron and glueballs. Actually the top quark has been observed only in dimers, which means, that force not only glues heavy particles together – it also stabilizes them.

    This research is about another strengthening this hypothesis, though. It proposes, that the Cassimir-like force not only applies at the nuclear scale, but it’s so strong there, it creates its own boson, which is able of individual life (albeit very temporal one).