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Meril Jeffery John.J

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Brief description: If This is God's Will then no man can Fight it
Sex: Male
Relationship Status: Single

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Religious View
Political View
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"Do not be Afraid, Abram (Meril). I will shield you from danger and give you a great reward." (Genesis 15:1) 

"Coincidence is God's way of staying anonymous."

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          • You're the Best Scientist, You're the Best President, You're the Best Inspiration for the Youth, You're the Father of Indian Nuclear & Space Technology above all You're the Best Human Being ~ Though you have gone far away from this world You're Memories & Great Work will Stay with this Mighty Nation Allways.
            RIP ~ Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam

          • People say "I Lost My Heart" well I had the Heart but Lost the BEAT In It ..

            • Emily Mathew
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              Blog by Emily Mathew

              In today’s modern world, many business owners think that having a website or a Facebook page is sufficient to run the business over an online platform.
              But what they don’t know is, to scale up the business you need a profitable Mobile App. Here we have projected the Top 2 reasons why your business needs a mobile app.

              Real Mobile Apps for Real Business Owners

              As you all know, any business to engage with customers, it primarily needs an attractive Website with appealing web design. Most startups and small business owners have their website but only a few established enterprises own an exclusive mobile app for their business.

              Here is why your business needs a mobile app – Benefits:

              1. Identify real customers & get feedback.
              2. Elevate brand loyalty and visibility.
              3. Build Trust Factor through positive brand image.
              4. Excellent Marketing tool to increase customer base.
              5. Sell faster through better UI/UX Experience.
              6. Connect & engage customers via personalised content and promotion techniques.
              7. Secured User info and Payment transactions.
              8. Increased ROI – the USP for small business.

              Do the Top 2 reasons indicate that your business needs a mobile app immediately?

              There are few hidden signs that accurately indicate your business needs an Android/iOS Mobile App Development Services immediately for your website.

              1. If your Website has increased visitors: It is quite simple to identify. If your website analytics shows, that your business visitors are driven in rapidly by the mobile users then, it clearly indicates that your business needs to approach an App Development Company in Bahrain.

              Many users will find the Beautifully designed mobile application with better UI & UX design will appeal and grab more attention from the visitors.

              1. The age range of the website visitors: Age Range of the users is another factor that determines if your business needs a mobile app immediately or not. However, if your website analytics shows that the age category of website visitors mostly fall between 18 to 35 years, then it’s high time to grab the attention of smartphone users.

              Get an Out-Standing Mobile App for your Business:

              In the first place, the Mobile Application can be the best alternative to build a strong and secured market presence. It helps your business to stay updated with the present technology trends and innovation. Secondly, the best mobile app helps the user to differentiate you from other service providers. Moreover, the personalised mobile app is a tool that helps to stay connected with the regular updates and offer unmatched convenience to the users.

              So, do your business fall under any one of the above categories? If yes, then reach out to YelloStack – the leading Mobile App Development Company in Saudi Arabia offering an unparallel mobile app development service for your business needs. We are expertise in developing and designing mobile apps that are easily downloadable, with best UI/UX interference. To conclude, we help you to build a successful mobile application for your business.
              Mobile App – the key to your business success.


              If you are already a mobile app owner and to know more about; How to overcome usability issues in mobile apps, click on the link below how-to-overcome-usability-issues-in-mobile-apps/

              Are you planning to restructure your business by developing a perfect Mobile App for your business? then check out our Mobile app development strategies post-COVID 19

              • Meril Jeffery John.J
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                Kindly note writing a blog should have complete content not about refering the content itself to another blog for that you can use bookmark don't spam the website last warning

              • Here is more proof from the Bible that it is the Lord Jesus Who is the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18... and not Muhammad: 

                17 Then [Yahweh] said to me, ‘They have spoken well.
                18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. I will put My words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.
                Deuteronomy 18
                Note the words God uses as He speaks to Moses.

                By: ApoLogika
                Posted: May 2, 2020, 8:10 pm


                Scientists have discovered our earliest common ancestor — and the earliest ancestor of all animal life.

                The honor goes to a minuscule worm-like creature that lived on the seafloor 555 million years ago. Researchers led by geologists at the University of California (UC) Riverside have identified it as the first known bilaterian, an organism with a front and back, symmetrical sides and front and back openings with a gut in between.

                "It's the oldest fossil we get with this type of complexity," UC Riverside geology professor Mary Droser said in a press release.

                Bilaterians are an important piece of the evolutionary tree that branches out to include the full diversity of animal life. The new body structure allowed creatures to move forward purposefully.

                The fossil was dated to the Ediacaran Period 555 million years ago, when multi-celled, complex lifeforms began to emerge. But other fossils found in the "Ediacaran Biota" are not directly related to today's animals. These include Dickinsonia, organisms shaped like lily pads that have no mouth or gut, according to UC Riverside.

                Geologists thought that bilaterians must have been alive during this period, but direct fossil evidence was hard to find. Researchers had thought for 15 years that these creatures were the explanation for fossilized burrows found in Ediacaran deposits in Nilpena, South Australia, but there was no definitive proof.

                Then, Droser and UC Riverside doctoral graduate Scott Evans honed in on barely discernible oval impressions near the ends of the burrows. They used a three-dimensional scanner to fill in the impression and a body emerged — a grain-of-rice sized cylindrical creature about 2-7 millimeters long and about 1-2.5 millimeters wide.


                "Once we had the 3D scans, we knew that we had made an important discovery," Evans said in the press release.

                Scientists called the creature Ikaria wariootia and introduced it to the world in an article published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Monday. The name comes from the language of the Adnyamathanha people, an aboriginal group who live in the part of Australia where the fossil was found. Ikaria means "meeting place" and Warioota is the name of a local creek.

                But the creature didn't live by the riverside. Instead, it spent its life burrowing in sand on the ocean floor in search of food.

                The creature is also important for another reason. Evolutionary biologists had long predicted early bilaterians would be small and simple like Ikaria wariootia, according to the press release.

                "This is what evolutionary biologists predicted," Droser said. "It's really exciting that what we have found lines up so neatly with their prediction."

              • The ozone layer above Antarctica has recovered so much, it's actually stopped many worrying changes in the Southern Hemisphere's atmosphere. If you're looking for someone to thank, try the world at large.

                A new study suggests the Montreal Protocol - the 1987 agreement to stop producing ozone depleting substances (ODSs) - could be responsible for pausing, or even reversing, some troubling changes in air currents around the Southern Hemisphere.

                Swirling towards our planet's poles at a high altitude are fast air currents known as jet streams. Before the turn of the century, ozone depletion had been driving the southern jet stream further south than usual. This ended up changing rainfall patterns, and potentially ocean currents as well.

                Then, a decade or so after the protocol was signed, that migration suddenly stopped. Was it a coincidence?

                Using a range of models and computer simulations, researchers have now shown this pause in movement was not driven by natural shifts in winds alone. Instead, only changes in the ozone could explain why the creep of the jet stream had suddenly stopped.

                In other words, the impact of the Montreal Protocol appears to have paused, or even slightly reversed, the southern migration of the jet stream. And for once, that's actually good news.

                In Australia, for instance, changes to the jet stream have increased the risk of drought by pushing rain away from coastal areas. If the trend does reverse, those rains might return.

                "The 'weather bands' that bring our cold fronts have been narrowing towards the south pole, and that's why southern Australia has experienced decreasing rainfall over the last thirty years or so," says Ian Rae, organic chemist from the University of Melbourne who was not involved in the study.

                "If the ozone layer is recovering, and the circulation is moving north, that's good news on two fronts (pun not intended)."

                Still, we may not be celebrating for long. While improvements in cutting back our reliance on ODSs have certainly allowed the ozone to recover somewhat, carbon dioxide levels continue to creep upwards and place all that progress at risk.

                Last year, the Antarctic ozone hole hit its smallest annual peak on record since 1982, but the problem isn't solved, and this record may have something to do with unusually mild temperatures in that layer of the atmosphere.

                What's more, in recent years, there's been a surge in ozone-depleting chemicals, coming from industrial regions in China.

                "We term this a 'pause' because the poleward circulation trends might resume, stay flat, or reverse," says atmospheric chemist Antara Banerjee from the University of Colorado Boulder.

                "It's the tug of war between the opposing effects of ozone recovery and rising greenhouse gases that will determine future trends."

                The Montreal Protocol is proof that if we take global and immediate action we can help pause or even reverse some of the damage we've started. Yet even now, the steady rise in greenhouse gas emissions is a reminder that one such action is simply not enough.

              • The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Hayabusa2 spacecraft fired a copper cannonball a little bigger than a tennis ball into a near-Earth asteroid named Ryugu to learn about its composition.

                Almost a year later, scientists have had a chance to analyze the data, captured by cameras on the spacecraft, to learn more about this asteroid some 195 million miles away.

                The Hayabusa2 probe deployed Small Carry-on Impactor -- a device packed with plastic explosives -- intended to blast an artificial crater in the asteroid.

                After deploying the SCI from the asteroid's orbit, Hayabusa2 moved to a safe distance from the blast site, according to the agency.

                It also released a small camera called DCAM3 to capture the detonation as it occurred. The camera floated about a half mile away.

                The researchers now know that the impact created a nearly 33-foot-wide crater on the surface of the asteroid, according to a new study. It sent up a plume of material upon impact, which the camera was able to capture in detail.

                The study published in the journal Science on Thursday. An additional study about the asteroid's composition published Monday in the journal Nature.

                The crater left behind is like a semicircle, including an elevated rim, a central pit and an asymmetrical pattern of ejected material, according to the researchers. They believe the asymmetric pattern could be due to a larger boulder beneath the crater.

                Based on the material released by the impact, the researchers also believe that Ryugu includes material similar to loose sand on Earth.

                The ejecta curtain, or plume of material created by the impact, never fully detached from the surface, according to the study. The researchers think that this was due to the asteroid's gravity.

                Ryugu is a dark, spinning top-shaped asteroid that measures about 3,000 feet wide. The surface is covered in boulders. It's also incredibly dry.

                Photos captured by the spacecraft have revealed an even distribution of dark and rough rocks, as well as those that are bright and smooth. Scientists believe there are two kinds of material on the asteroid because it likely formed from the leftover rubble after its parent body was hit.

                The rocks are similar to carbonaceous chondrites, which are primitive meteorites. Some of the rocks contain small, colored materials called inclusions that could contain minerals like olivine. This is also found in carbonaceous chondrites.

                Researchers from the Nature study also determined that the asteroid is largely made up of highly porous material. This could explain why carbon-rich meteorites are rarely found on Earth; our atmosphere protects against them and causes them to break apart into fragments.

                Data was gathered for the study from the MASCOT lander during the mission, or Mobile Asteroid Surface SCOuT.

                "Fragile, highly porous asteroids like Ryugu are probably the link in the evolution of cosmic dust into massive celestial bodies," said Matthias Grott, study author and expert at the German Aerospace Center's Institute of Planetary Research. "This closes a gap in our understanding of planetary formation, as we have hardly ever been able to detect such material in meteorites found on Earth."

                The researchers believe it's possible that the highly porous structure of carbon-rich asteroids could be similar to planetesimals, or the material that eventually became planets in our solar system.

                And asteroids, which act as leftovers from the beginning of the solar system, could shed light on early solar system processes like how planets formed. Unfortunately, that's not something for which astronomers have much direct evidence. They can only construct models based on what they know from studying the solar system and meteorites.

                "Research on the subject is therefore primarily dependent on extraterrestrial matter, which reaches Earth from the depths of the Solar System in the form of meteorites," said Jörn Helbert, study co-author and research director from the German Aerospace Center's Institute of Planetary Research.

                "In addition, we need missions such as Hayabusa2 to visit the minor bodies that formed during the early stages of the Solar System in order to confirm, supplement or -- with appropriate observations -- refute the models."

                Hayabusa2 departed Ryugu in December 2019 and will return to Earth by the end of 2020. It's carrying precious cargo including the samples collected from two landing sites on the asteroid to be analyzed by scientists.

                If it makes it back to Earth on schedule it will be the first mission to bring back samples from a C-class asteroid, which hasn't been visited before. C-class asteroids are the most common, comprising 75% of all known asteroids.

              • Photons captured by the immense gravity around the black hole form an intricate structure of light rings between the accretion disk and the event horizon boundary.


                People were disappointed with the first direct image of a black hole, released last year. As if it were not enough to capture the image of an object that was considered impossible to see, 55 million light-years away, some were bothered because the image was blurred.

                However, if the image had a better resolution, researchers estimate that we would see an impressive substructure around the event horizon: an infinite series of rings of light, gradually sharper, caused by extreme gravitational curvature.

                “The image of a black hole actually contains a series of scrambled rings,” explains Michael Johnson, of the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. ” Each successive ring has about the same diameter but becomes increasingly sharper because its light orbited the black hole more times before reaching the observer. With the current EHT (Event Horizon Telescope) image, we’ve caught just a glimpse of the full complexity that should emerge in the image of any black hole.”

                With their immense gravitational pull, black holes capture all photons that cross their event horizon, making their center dark – surrounded by the light generated by the hot gas that forms the accretion disk. The “photon rings” are inside the inner edge of the accretion disk, but outside the event horizon, and are formed by the light trapped in orbit by the strong gravity near the black hole.

                Mathematical models suggest that the photon ring must create a complex substructure that consists of infinite rings of light – like the effect you see when you place one mirror in front of another. In the EHT image of the M87, we can see the accretion disk (the yellow and orange part) and the shadow of the black hole (the dark center). We cannot see the photon rings, as they are very thin and the resolution is not high enough.

                But if we could see it, that photon ring would be the fingerprint of the black hole – its size and shape encode the black hole’s mass and rotation. With the images generated by the EHT, black hole researchers have a new tool to study these structures.

                “Black hole physics has always had profound theoretical implications, but now it has also become an experimental science,” says Alex Lupsasca of the Harvard Society of Fellows. “As a theorist, I am pleased to finally collect real data on these objects that we have been thinking about abstractly for so long.”

              • Nearly 60 years ago, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Nicolaas Bloembergen predicted an exciting new phenomenon called nuclear electric resonance. But no one has been able to demonstrate it in action – until now.

                Actual evidence of nuclear electric resonance has now been discovered by accident in a lab at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia, thanks to faulty equipment. The breakthrough gives scientists a new level of control over nuclei, and could seriously speed up the development of quantum computers.

                Central to the phenomenon is the idea of controlling the spin of individual atoms using electrical rather than magnetic fields. That means more precise and more miniaturised management of nuclei, which could have profound impacts in a variety of fields.

                "This discovery means that we now have a pathway to build quantum computers using single-atom spins without the need for any oscillating magnetic field for their operation," says quantum physicist Andrea Morello, from UNSW.

                "Moreover, we can use these nuclei as exquisitely precise sensors of electric and magnetic fields, or to answer fundamental questions in quantum science."

                In some situations, nuclear electric resonance has the potential to replace nuclear magnetic resonance, which is widely used today for a variety of purposes: for scanning human bodies, chemical elements, rock formations, and more.

                The problem with the magnetic option is that it requires powerful currents, big coils, and a substantial amount of space – think about the size of an fMRI scanner at your local hospital, for example.

                Not only that, in some ways it's a bit of a blunt instrument too. If you want to control individual atomic nuclei – for quantum computing, perhaps, or very small sensors – then nuclear magnetic resonance isn't a very good tool for the job.

                "Performing magnetic resonance is like trying to move a particular ball on a billiard table by lifting and shaking the whole table," says Morello. "We'll move the intended ball, but we'll also move all the others."

                "The breakthrough of electric resonance is like being handed an actual billiards stick to hit the ball exactly where you want it."

                It was during a nuclear magnetic resonance experiment that the UNSW researchers cracked the puzzle set by Bloembergen in 1961, and it was all down to a broken antenna. After some head-scratching over unexpected results, the researchers realised their equipment was faulty – and demonstrating nuclear electric resonance.

                With subsequent computer modelling, the team was able to show that the electrical fields could influence a nucleus at a fundamental level, distorting the atomic bonds around the nucleus and causing it to reorient itself.

                Now that scientists know how nuclear electric resonance can work, they can research new ways to apply it. What's more, we can add this to the growing list of significant scientific discoveries that have been made by accident.

                "This landmark result will open up a treasure trove of discoveries and applications," says Morello. "The system we created has enough complexity to study how the classical world we experience every day emerges from the quantum realm."

                "Moreover, we can use its quantum complexity to build sensors of electromagnetic fields with vastly improved sensitivity. And all this, in a simple electronic device made in silicon, controlled with small voltages applied to a metal electrode."

              • In pioneering research that can help explain infertility cases of unknown cause, researchers at the University of California-San Diego’s School of Medicine have discovered that an enzyme called ‘SPRK1’ leads the first step in untangling a sperm’s genome, kicking out special packing proteins, which opens up the paternal DNA and allows for merging with mother’s DNA — all in a matter of hours.

                To date, researchers did not really know much about these relatively brief, yet crucial, incipient moments in fertilization. “In this study, we were simply interested in answering a fundamental question about the beginning of life,” said senior author Xiang-Dong Fu.

                “But in the process, we’ve uncovered a step that might malfunction for some people, and contribute to a couple’s difficulty conceiving. Now that we know SPRK1 plays a role here, its potential part in infertility can be further explored,’ he added in a paper published in the journal Cell.

                While sperms carry only half as much genetic material as a regular cell, it needs to be folded and packaged in a special way in order to fit.

                One way nature does this is by replacing histones — proteins around which DNA is wound, like beads on a necklace — with a different type of protein called protamines.

                Fu’s team has long studied aSPRK1′ for a completely different reason: its ability to splice RNA, an important step that enables the translation of genes to proteins. They previously showed that SPRK1 is over-activated in colon cancer, and they developed inhibitors to dampen the enzyme.

                According to Fu, SPRK1 most likely started out playing this role in early embryogenesis, then later evolved the ability to splice RNA.

                In this way, SPRK1 gets to stick around even when it’s no longer needed for embryogenesis.

                Fu and his team want to determine the signals that instruct sperm to synchronize with the maternal genome.

                “We have a ton of new ideas now,” Fu said.

                “The better we understand every step in the process of spermatogenesis, fertilization, and embryogenesis, the more likely we are to be able to intervene when systems malfunction for couples struggling with reproductive issues.” (IANS)

              • Astronomers have discovered the existence of a supermassive black hole that looks to be the oldest and most distant of its kind we've ever encountered – and it just happens to be aiming its bright particle beam directly at Earth.

                The newly found supermassive black hole – called PSO J030947.49+271757.31 – is the most distant blazar ever observed, researchers say. That conclusion is based on the wavelength signature of the object's redshift, a phenomenon scientists can use to measure the distance of light-emitting sources in space.

                Blazars are supermassive black holes that lie at the heart of active galactic nuclei: central regions of galaxies bursting forth with high levels of luminosity and electromagnetic emissions, thought to occur due to the intense heat generated by particles of gas and dust swirling in the accretion disks of supermassive black holes.

                Amongst these brilliant objects, blazars are the brightest of all – depending on your perspective, at least. The term 'blazar' is reserved for supermassive black holes where the jet of radiation is angled towards Earth, which makes it handy for astronomers to analyse these distant black holes in greater detail.

                "The spectrum that appeared before our eyes confirmed first that PSO J0309+27 is actually an active galaxy nucleus, or a galaxy whose central nucleus is extremely bright due to the presence in its centre of a supermassive black hole fed by the gas and the stars it engulfs," says astrophysicist Silvia Belladitta from the University of Insubria in Italy.

                "In addition, the data obtained by the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) also confirmed that PSO J0309+27 is really far away from us, according to the shift of the colour of its light toward red or redshift with a record value of 6.1, never measured before for a similar object."

                Based on their readings, astronomers say the light we can detect from PSO J0309+27 was actually emitted almost 13 billion years ago, meaning the blazar existed in the extremely early stages of the Universe, less than a billion years after the Big Bang.

                While thousands of blazars have been found to date, the exceptional distance and age of PSO J0309+27 makes it a remarkable outlier – but that doesn't mean the object is entirely unique.

                Because blazars happen to be pointed right at us, we have the opportunity to better analyse their beams. Similarly bright active galactic nuclei - called quasars - are inclined at different angles, so their particle beams are more likely to remain hidden from us.

                "Observing a blazar is extremely important," Belladitta explains. "For every discovered source of this type, we know that there must be 100 similar, but most are oriented differently, and are therefore too weak to be seen directly."

                This inferred population remains firmly hypothetical for now, but the discovery of PSO J0309+27, which the team estimates to have a mass equal to about 1 billion times the mass of the Sun, is a big deal. Having found PSO J0309+27, it tells us that these giant, powerful objects existed in the early stages of the Universe, and likely in great numbers.

                The team acknowledges further observations are needed to narrow down just how sizeable this hypothetical black hole population might be. In any case, we're looking at an object that's big, important, and new to science; when you're studying supermassive black holes, no discovery is trifling.

                "Thanks to our discovery, we are able to say that in the first billion years of life of the Universe, there existed a large number of very massive black holes emitting powerful relativistic jets," Belladitta says.

                "This result places tight constraints on the theoretical models that try to explain the origin of these huge black holes in our Universe."

              • What if the Earth, the galaxy, and all the galaxies near us were enclosed in a weirdly empty bubble? This scenario could resolve some longstanding questions about the nature of the universe.

                From our vantage point here on Earth, the universe can seem like a relatively calm and static place. But astronomical observations over the past century have revealed that this giant thing we live in, whatever it may be, is mysteriously expanding at an ever-accelerating pace.

                Not only is the universe ballooning—a perplexing reality by itself—but scientists have also struggled for years to reconcile different estimates of the expansion rate of our cosmic borders.

                This rate is known as the Hubble constant (H0), named after astronomer Edwin Hubble, and scientists think it is driven by mysterious phenomena called dark matter and energy.

                For example, data obtained by European Space Agency’s Planck satellite clocks the constant at about 67.4 kilometers/second for every million parsecs (one parsec equals 3.26 light years). This result is based on measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the oldest observable light in the universe. But when scientists use distance measurements of supernovae that are substantially younger than the CMB, the result is a faster clip of 73.5 km/s/Mpc.

                So what gives, universe?

                One speculative answer may be that we are living in a local “Hubble bubble,” a gigantic area in space that is comparatively less dense than the rest of the universe, according to Lucas Lombriser, a theoretical physicist at the University of Geneva.

                This hypothesis dates back more than two decades, but Lombriser built on previous research by constraining the possible dimensions and characteristics of this speculative bubble in a paper published in the April 2020 issue of Physics Letters B.

                Lombriser argues that there is no need to invent new physics to explain the discrepancies between the two Hubble constants. The difference could stem from an overestimation of how dense our corner of the universe is relative to the average cosmic density of matter.

                “We know that the universe nearby is highly inhomogeneous,” Lombriser explained in an email. “The densities of particles in the ground, in the atmosphere, or in the space between Earth and the Moon/Sun are very different.”

                Even on much larger scales, these density variations can still occur. In his paper, Lombriser proposes that we might be located in a relatively empty region that stretches out along a radius of 40 megaparsecs (roughly 125 million light years) or a total diameter of 250 million light years.

                “To create the local under-dense region assumed in my paper, we therefore do not need anything special,” Lombriser said. “Such regions are relatively frequent in the cosmos in the standard cosmological theory.”

                If this bubble contains about half as much matter as the cosmic average, it might account for why we keep getting different results for the Hubble constant. Scientists have calculated the distances to supernovae in order to estimate the universe’s expansion rate, but those numbers may be slightly distorted if we have overestimated the amount of matter in our vicinity.

                Since the value provided by the Planck satellite is based on observations of the CMB, a truly ancient source of radiation, it is a more reliable source of the overall expansion rate.

                This is still a hypothesis, and it will take more models and observations to determine whether uneven distributions of matter throughout the universe could explain the tensions between the observed Hubble constants.

                To that end, Lombriser is hopeful that novel fields such as gravitational wave astronomy, which measures ripples in the fabric of spacetime, could help resolve the mystery. In particular, he is interested in events such as GW170817, a gravitational wave detected on August 8, 2017, that was created by a neutron star collision. Scientists traced the wave signal back to a galaxy called NGC 4993, enabling them to also capture the light from the crash.

                “This allowed us to not only know the distance to the event but also its redshift, which means that we can use this as a ‘Standard Siren’ that measures the expansion rate of the cosmos,” Lombriser said.

                “So far, GW170817 is our only Standard Siren,” he added. “The emitter galaxy NGC 4993 lies in our local bubble, hence, the expansion rate should be expected to agree with the local measurement rather than with the global one.”

                In other words, he predicts that gravitational waves from sources within the 40 megaparsec radius will generate a similar expansion rate to the one derived from supernovae, which could be a function of a relatively empty local environment.

                Regardless of what new observations turn up, solving the discrepancies in these values will be essential to understanding the bizarre forces behind the universe’s widening borders. The good news is that we can now build on the insights of 20th century scientific luminaries, such as Hubble and Albert Einstein, with 21st century technologies like gravitational wave detectors and ultra-sensitive telescopes.

                “More observations and surveys will help to improve these estimates, but also a better understanding of the distribution of dark matter will be required,” Lombriser said. “With more such gravitational wave events we should be able to reduce this uncertainty and get a better measurement of our local density.”

                • Meril Jeffery John.J

                  In recent years, a group of Hungarian researchers have made headlines with a bold claim. They say they’ve discovered a new particle — dubbed X17 — that requires the existence of a fifth force of nature. 

                  The researchers weren’t looking for the new particle, though. Instead, it popped up as an anomaly in their detector back in 2015 while they were searching for signs of dark matter. The oddity didn’t draw much attention at first. But eventually, a group of prominent particle physicists working at the University of California, Irvine, took a closer look and suggested that the Hungarians had stumbled onto a new type of particle — one that implies an entirely new force of nature.  

                  Then, in late 2019, the Hungarian find hit the mainstream when they released new results suggesting that their signal hadn’t gone away. The anomaly persisted even after they changed the parameters of their experiment. They’ve now seen it pop up in the same way hundreds of times.

                  That leaves some physicists excited by the prospect of a new force. But even if an unknown force is not responsible for the strange signal, the team may have revealed some novel, previously unseen physics. And if confirmed, some think the new force could move physics closer to a grand unified theory of the universe, or even help explain dark matter. 

                  However, so far, most scientists remain skeptical. For years, researchers tied to the Hungarian group have claimed to discover new particles that later vanished. So other scientists are content to wait for more data that either confirm or refute the potentially paradigm-shifting finding. But it could be a long wait.

                  “From a particle physics perspective, anomalies come and go,” says Daniele Alves, a theoretical physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “We’ve learned over time to not be too biased with one interpretation or the other. The important thing is to get to the bottom of this.”

                  The Four Fundamental Forces

                  Physics textbooks teach that there are four fundamental forces of nature: gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. 

                  We’re quite familiar with the first two forces. Gravity pins us to Earth and pulls us around the sun, while electromagnetism keeps the lights on. The other two forces are less obvious to us because they govern interactions at the tiniest scales. The strong force binds matter together, while the weak nuclear force describes the radioactive decay of atoms.  

                  Each of these forces is carried by a kind of subatomic particle that physicists call a boson. For example, photons are the force particle in electromagnetism. Gluons carry the strong nuclear force. W and Z bosons are responsible for the weak nuclear force. There’s even a hypothetical boson for gravity called the graviton, though scientists haven’t proven its existence.

                  However, if you ask many theoretical physicists, they’ll probably tell you we haven’t discovered all the forces of nature yet. Others are likely out there, just waiting to be discovered. For example, some suspect that discovering dark matter may reveal a weak new force.

                  And that’s where the Hungarian group comes in. Without getting too lost in the details, the group shot protons at a thin sample of lithium-7, which then radioactively decayed into beryllium-8. As expected, this created pairs of positrons and electrons. However, the detectors also picked up excess decay signals that suggested the existence of a potential new and extremely weak particle. If it exists, the particle would weigh in at about 1/50 the mass of a proton. And because of its properties, it would be a boson — a force-carrying particle.

                  But history is littered with reasons to be skeptical of new additions. In recent decades, other groups have also claimed to have found a fifth force, only to have their claims quietly fade away. Around the year 2000, one group proposed a new force, called quintessence, to explain the then-recent discovery of dark energy. In the 1980s, a group of physicists at MIT said they’d found a fifth force, dubbed hypercharge, that served as a kind of anti-gravity. Yet here we are with textbooks still teaching the same four fundamental forces we had decades ago.

                  That means the most likely explanation for the unexplained new signal is that there’s something off with the Hungarian detector’s setup. However, no one is disputing the data. The findings were peer-reviewed and published in the journal Physical Review Letters — the same journal that published the discovery of gravitational waves. Even ideas in prestigious journals can sometimes be explained away as systematic error, but that’s the way science works.

                  “People are paying attention to see whether this is really a nuclear physics effect or whether it’s something systematic,” Alves says. “It’s important to repeat those experiments ... to be able to test whether this is real or if it’s an artifact of the way they’re doing the experiment.”

                  Quest to Confirm

                  And that’s precisely what her group hopes to do. Together with a small team, she’s proposing to repeat the Hungarian experiment using equipment that already exists at Los Alamos. The national lab has been a leader in nuclear physics since the creation of the atomic bomb. And today, thousands of top physicists still work there on problems ranging from safeguarding and studying our nation’s nuclear arsenal, to pioneering quantum computers and observing pulsars.

                  As it turns out, they also have a detector nearly identical to the one used by the Hungarian team.

                  When you add all that together, Alves believes Los Alamos has exactly the right combination of facilities and expertise to repeat the experiment. That’s why her group quietly worked on their proposal for the last six months, and recently submitted a funding request for review. To gain approval, it will have to win out in an annual competition alongside other projects at the national lab.

                  In recent years, several other groups likewise have suggested they’ll look for this force. But at the moment, Alves believes they're the main group in the U.S. working to confirm or refute the finding. If they can’t gain approval, it may be years before a university or other group can secure both the funds and expertise to repeat the experiment with the same sort of parameters the Hungarians used.

                  As with all extraordinary claims, this potentially paradigm-shifting discovery will require extraordinary evidence before people accept it. So we may have to wait a while before we know whether the X17 particle and its potential fifth force will revolutionize physics, or take its place atop the dustbin of debunked and discarded discoveries.

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