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More attention to potential evidence for a fifth fundamental force?
In January 2016, a paper was published in Phys. Rev. Lett. by a group physicists at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, reporting findings from their research on the possible existence of dark photons – a hypothetical elementary particle first proposed in 2008 as a force carrier particle for dark matter.
Not much attention was gained with this paper, which discussed a potential new particle of mass ~ 17 MeV found via radioactive decay anomaly. At the time the particle type was not determined. Later, another team of physicists from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) examined the work done by the Hungarian team along with relevant results from previous experiments. Calling it the protophobic X boson, their findings suggest the particle may not be a matter particle nor is it a dark photon. Instead, it could be a force carrier acting in a range comparable to that of an atomic nucleus and only with electrons and neutrons. Their work is reported in a paper published in August 2016 in Phys. Rev. Lett. SPIRES currently lists 18 citations to the Feng et al. paper
The never-before-seen characteristic of the protophobic X boson implies the possible existence of a fifth fundamental force of nature in addition to the four known forces: gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear force.
Naturally, the announcement intrigued the physics community; while some theorists greeted the news with skepticism, several experiments are now underway to finding conclusive evidence of dark photons, and physics beyond the standard model.
As a gauge of this paper's importance and how much attention is being paid to it, we ask: Will the Feng et al. paper increase its citation rate over the next two months?
Given 18 citations in ~5 months, we'll adopt a criterion that the paper attain 8 additional citations in the next two, i.e. have 26 or more citations on Jan 10, 2017, per this SPIRES search.
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