“Dark Force” – nothing to do with Star Wars, I promise…although that would be cool.

Project “Dark Force” – this is what scientists are calling the recent plan to research about “Dark matter & Dark energy” that make up 95% of our cosmos.

There are basically four forces of nature that are known to physicists.

1. Gravitational force.

2. The weak force.

3. Electromagnetic force.

4. The strong force.

Gravitational force

Every particle in the universe binds itself to another particle. This force that binds them together is called Gravitational force – the reason behind why the apple fell; which led to Issac Newton’s discovery.
This is the weakest force in nature but infinite. Here is how Issac Newton described the universal law of gravitation,



The Weak force.

Unlike Gravitational force, this is too weak to hold any particles together but affects most known particles.  This force is responsible for radioactive decay and every particle goes through this. This is where conversion of neutron to proton, an electron and an antineutrino takes place.

Electromagnetic force.

This is the second strongest force of nature. This is the force between two electrically charged particles and it can either be repulsive or attractive.

The strong force.

As the name suggests, the strongest force in nature. This is the force that binds protons and neutrons together. The Nuclear force. This is responsible for holding the nuclei of an atom together.  But this is a short range force, which means the particles should be close enough before its effects are felt.

Unlike how the charges normally react – (++ : Repel; +- : Attract), however, due to the nuclear force here, its holds on together,



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So why am I rambling about some forces of nature? Well, like I mentioned, these only make up 5% of the cosmos; if there is a fifth force, scientists are yet to discover. Now that is what this post is about. These ramblings so far is so you would understand this better, because what scientists are planning to do is so cool!

Scientists are planning to research for “Dark matter and Dark energy.” How you ask? Mauro Raggi and his colleagues are going to turn on this equipment located at National Institute of Nuclear Physics, which is designed to hunt for this fifth force. This machine called Positron Annihilation into Dark Matter Experiment “Padme” (another coincidence with Star Wars!) will record what happens when blasting a super thin Diamond wafer with a stream of positrons.



The normal reaction when electrons and positrons collide is, they merge together and disappear to faint burst of energy. This produces two photons. Instead, if these collisions should produce one photon and one “dark” photon, this will prove the existence of dark matter(fifth force of nature).

Bryan McKinnon from University of Georgia says, “It would definitely be a huge thing in physics if some evidence of a dark sector was found. Right now, it’s labelled as such because it’s the stuff we don’t understand. If a door can be opened, what will come out? That’s guesswork right now.”

I cannot wait to see what the results are going to be! Isn’t universe mysterious and magical? I think so!


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