23Feb2013

Have We Found The ‘Fifth’ Force Of Nature?

Physicists stalk a delicate “fifth force” of nature, hidden within the interstices of the other four. What they have not found is even more amazing.

A fifth elementary force of nature named hypercharge, may oppose the force of gravity. It’s phenomenon that fascinate modern physicists and lopens up a Pandora’s box for science.

In a breakthrough for the field of particle physics, Professor of Physics Larry Hunter and colleagues at Amherst and The University of Texas at Austin have established new limits on what scientists call “long-range spin-spin interactions” between atomic particles. These interactions have been proposed by theoretical physicists but have not yet been seen.

Their observation would constitute the discovery of a “fifth force of nature” (in addition to the four known fundamental forces: gravity, weak, strong and electromagnetic) and would suggest the existence of new particles, beyond those presently described by the Standard Model of particle physics.

The new limits were established by considering the interaction between the spins of laboratory fermions (electrons, neutrons and protons) and the spins of the electrons within Earth. To make this study possible, the authors created the first comprehensive map of electron polarization within Earth induced by the planet’s geomagnetic field.

Hunter—along with emeritus Amherst physics professor Joel Gordon; postdoctoral fellow Stephen Peck; student researcher Daniel Ang ’15; and Jung-Fu “Afu” Lin, associate professor of geosciences at UT Austin—co-authored a paper about their work that appears in this week’s issue of the prestigious journal Science.

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This picture depicts the long-range spin-spin interaction (blue wavy lines) in which the spin-sensitive detector on Earth’s surface interacts with geoelectrons (red dots) deep in Earth’s mantle. The arrows on the geoelectrons indicate their spin orientations, opposite that of Earth’s magnetic field lines (white arcs). Illustration: Marc Airhart (University of Texas at Austin) and Steve Jacobsen (Northwestern University).

The highly interdisciplinary research relies on geophysics, atomic physics, particle physics, mineral physics, solid-state physics and nuclear physics to reach its conclusions.  The paper describes how the team combined a model of Earth’s interior with a precise map of the planet’s geomagnetic field to produce a map of the magnitude and direction of electron spins throughout Earth.

Their model was based in part on insights gained from Lin’s studies of spin transitions at the high temperatures and pressures of Earth’s interior. Every fundamental particle (every electron, neutron and proton, to be specific), explained Hunter, has the intrinsic atomic property of “spin.” Spin can be thought of as a vector—an arrow that points in a particular direction. Like all matter, Earth and its mantle—a thick geological layer sandwiched between the thin outer crust and the central core—are made of atoms.

The atoms are themselves made up of electrons, neutrons and protons that have spin. Earth’s magnetic field causes some of the electrons in the mantle’s minerals to become slightly spin-polarized, meaning the directions in which their spins point are no longer completely random, but have some net orientation.

Earlier experiments, including one in Hunter’s laboratory, explored whether their laboratory spins prefer to point in a particular direction. “We know, for example, that a magnetic dipole has a lower energy when it is oriented parallel to the geomagnetic field and it lines up with this particular direction—that is how a compass works,” he explained.

“Our experiments removed this magnetic interaction and looked to see if there might be some other interaction that would orient our experimental spins. One interpretation of this ‘other’ interaction is that it could be a long-range interaction between the spins in our apparatus, and the electron spins within the Earth, that have been aligned by the geomagnetic field. This is the long-range spin-spin interaction we are looking for.”http://members.tripod.com/mirror_matter/062674d0.gif

So far, no experiment has been able to detect any such interaction. But in Hunter’s paper, the researchers describe how they were able to infer that such so-called spin-spin forces, if they exist, must be incredibly weak—as much as a million times weaker than the gravitational attraction between the particles.

At this level, the experiments can constrain “torsion gravity”—a proposed theoretical extension of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.

Given the high sensitivity of the technique Hunter and his team used, it may provide a useful path for future experiments that will refine the search for such a fifth force.

If a long-range spin-spin force is found, it not only would revolutionize particle physics but might eventually provide geophysicists with a new tool that would allow them to directly study the spin-polarized electrons within Earth.

“If the long-range spin-spin interactions are discovered in future experiments, geoscientists can eventually use such information to reliably understand the geochemistry and geophysics of the planet’s interior,” said Lin.

Possible future discoveries aside, Hunter said that he was pleased that this particular project enabled him to work with Lin. “When I began investigating spin transitions in the mantle, all of the literature led to him,” he explained.

“I was thrilled that he was interested in the project and willing to sign on as a collaborator. He has been a good teacher and has had enormous patience with my ignorance about geophysics. It has been a very fruitful collaboration.”

“The most rewarding and surprising thing about this project was realizing that particle physics could actually be used to study the deep Earth,” Lin said. Source: MessageToEagle

 

Can Parallel Universes Explain The Déjà Vu Phenomenon?

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Meaning “already seen” in French, ‘déjà vu’ is the eerie sensation that you has already experienced something before when consciously know that you have not. Image Cr. Jordan Lejuwaan

Have you ever had a déjà vu experience? It’s the feeling, or impression that you have already witnessed or experienced a current situation.The term déjà vu is French and means, literally, “already seen.” It is a rather common, yet little understood phenomenon. Most of us have experienced being in a new place and feeling certain that we have been there before, but we have difficulties understanding how it is possible.

For a long time, this eerie sensation has been attributed to everything from paranormal disturbances to neurological disorders. In recent years, as more scientists began studying this phenomenon, a number of theories about déjà vu have emerged, suggesting that it is not merely a glitch in our brain’s memory system.

 Psychologists have suggested that déjà vu may occur when specific aspects of a current situation resemble certain aspects of previously occurring situations. If there is a lot of overlap between the elements of the new and old situations, we get a strong feeling of familiarity.

Alternative explanations associate déjà vu with prophecy, past life memories, clairvoyance, or a mystic signpost indicating fulfillment of a predetermined condition on the journey of life. Whatever the explanation, déjà vu is certainly a phenomenon that is universal to the human condition, and its fundamental cause is still a mystery.

Is a copy of yourself living in a parallel universe the reason why you experience déjà vu?

 Another intriguing possibility is that there is a hidden connection between déjà vu and the existence of parallel universes. As some already know, the multiverse is a theory in which our universe is not the only one, but states that many universes exist parallel to each other. These distinct universes within the multiverse theory are called parallel universes. According to Dr. Kaku, quantum physics states that there is the possibility that déjà vu might be caused by your ability to “flip between different universes”. 

 Dr. Michio Kaku explains one theory behind déjà vu and asks, “Is it ever possible on any scale to perhaps flip between different universes?”

Dr. Kaku mentions, Professor Steve Weinberg, the famous theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize winner, supports the idea of a multiverse. Weinberg says that there are an infinite number of parallel realities coexisting with us in the same room.

Parallel Worlds: by Michio Kaku

“There are hundreds of different radio waves being broadcast all around you from distant stations. At any given instant, your office or car or living room is full of these radio waves.  However if you turn on a radio, you can listen to only one frequency at a time; these other frequencies are not in phase with each other.

Each station has a different frequency, a different energy. As a result, your radio can only be turned to one broadcast at a time. Likewise, in our universe we are tuned into the frequency that corresponds to physical reality.

But there are an infinite number of parallel realities coexisting with us in the same room, although we cannot tune into them.” While your radio is tuned to pick up a certain frequency and thus a single radio station, our universe consists of atoms that are oscillating at a unique frequency that other universes are not vibrating at.

Universes are usually not “in phase”, that is vibrating at the same frequency, with each other due to the divisions caused by time, but when they are “in phase” it is theoretically possible to “move back and forth” between universes.

So although it is “uncertain”, it could be possible that when you are experiencing déjà vu, you are “vibrating in unison” with a parallel universe, explains Dr. Kaku. Perhaps our déjà vu experiences are a window into a parallel universe. Source: MessageToEagle