Previously physicists declared there to be four fundamental forces in the universe, gravitation, electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force.
Don't blame the scientists, there are infinite ways to be wrong and only one way to be right.
“If true, it’s revolutionary,” said Jonathan Feng, professor of physics & astronomy at UCI, in a statement. “For decades, we’ve known of only four fundamental forces. If confirmed by further experiments, this discovery of a possible fifth force would completely change our understanding of the universe, with consequences for the unification of forces and dark matter.”
(Contrary to scientific belief all the known and unknown realities of the omniverse continue to perform perfectly without anybody ever having to understand them.)
The data for the new claim comes from a mid-2015 study by experimental nuclear physicists in Hungary. That work was looking for “dark photons” – particles that would be a sign of the dark matter that is purported to make up about 85 per cent of the universe but which we’ve never actually seen (Because it's dark?).
The scientists, from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, found a radioactive decay anomaly that seemed to suggest that there was a light particle 30 times heavier than an electron. That remains something of a mystery to the original scientists.
“The experimentalists weren’t able to claim that it was a new force,” UCI professor of physics & astronomy Jonathan Feng said. “They simply saw an excess of events that indicated a new particle, but it was not clear to them whether it was a matter particle or a force-carrying particle.” UCI scientists looked through the data and showed that the unexplained data didn’t seem to come from matter particles or dark photons. The explanation that seemed to bring together the data was that there is a fifth force, previously unnoticed by scientists.
(Astonishingly 'life as we know it' will continue much as before in the real universe which is largely unaffected by what anybody thinks it might be.)