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No. 50: Mar-Apr 1987

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On The Trail Of The Fifth Force

Well publicized lately has been the modern reanalysis of the old Eotvos balance experiments. Some think they show the presence of that famous "fifth force" which is supposed, according to some theories, to modify Newton's Law of Gravitation, and become measurable at distances of about 100 to 1000 meters. The Eotvos results may also be explicable in terms of laboratory air currents. But the fifth force may be showing up in geophysical experiments.

"One of the most comprehensive geophysical experiments so far has been conducted by Frank Stacey at University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and his colleagues. Working in two metal mines, the researchers have measured a gravitational constant that is 0.7 percent greater than that measured in the laboratory -- suggesting the presence of a fifth force."

(Weisburd, Stefi; "Geophysics on the Fifth Force's Trail," Science News, 131: 6, 1987.)

From Science Frontiers #50, MAR-APR 1987. 1987-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987