crowdsourcing definitive futures assembling definitive understanding aggregating critical futures assembling accurate insights composing definitive wisdom mapping the future composing precise forecasts composing predictive estimations calculating calibrated insights aggregating precise insights modeling quantitative wisdom computing definitive contingencies predicting calibrated futures mapping intelligent forecasts


Metaculus Help: Spread the word

If you like Metaculus, tell your friends! Share this question via Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.

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.


Metaculus help: Predicting

Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.

The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available. With tachyons you'll even be able to go back in time and backdate your prediction to maximize your points.

The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.

This question is not yet open for predictions.

Thanks for predicting!

Your prediction has been recorded anonymously.

Want to track your predictions, earn points, and hone your forecasting skills? Create an account today!

Track your predictions
Continue exploring the site

Community Stats

Metaculus help: Community Stats

Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.

When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.