Column: Looking for New Forces

By Sean Carroll | November 4, 2011 1:00 pm

While my first column for Discover was on the multiverse, the second one is more down to Earth (as these things go): searching for new forces. Of course we are searching for new short-range forces at the Large Hadron Collider and in other particle-physics experiments, but here I’m talking about long-range “fifth forces.” While there are plausible motivations for searching for such forces, and the experimentalists have done an heroic job in constraining them, I argue that the most impressive thing is how we can say what forces are not out there — in particular, anything that would have any important effect on everyday life. There probably are more forces than we know about, but they’re only going to be of direct interest to physicists, I’m afraid. No tractor beams.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Science, Top Posts
ADVERTISEMENT
NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Cosmic Variance

Random samplings from a universe of ideas.

About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] cosmicvariance.com .

ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+