The Mystery of the Fifth force
For fifty years or more people the world over have dreamed about flying vehicles that can hover effortlessly above the ground. Such vehicles have been the premise of numerous stories and movies.
See for example movies like “Independence Day” and “District Nine”
How could such a thing be possible? The simplest answer is through the use of a mechanism which repels gravity in response to an electric current. If you put the term “The Fifth force” into an internet search engine, you will get pages of information describing theories about why the fifth force should exist but which mostly describe fruitless attempts to find it. Here is a good example of a paper describing such a theory: Fifth Force Theory by Randall Mills. The authors not only describe a theory which predicts that an electric current should strongly repel gravity, but conduct an experiment which in this case seems to show that the effect really exists. There are other experiments which come to the opposite conclusion, and the existence of the Fifth Force is not generally accepted at this time because nobody has ever reproducibly found it.
If it were to become possible to demonstrate and control the fifth force, then the consequences would be civilization shattering. It would be possible to lift a flying vehicle up into space just like rising in an elevator, without having to achieve orbital velocity. This would be a whole different kind of space travel. Such vehicles could be almost stationary with respect to the earths surface, by comparison with satellites which can only stay aloft by virtue of moving at 18,000 miles an hour or more.
All this raises the proposition: The Fifth Force has been predicted for thirty years, but never found. Perhaps everybody has been looking for it in the wrong way? In “A Disruptive Invention” John Sykes stumbles across the Fifth Force quite by accident. Read the book to find out what happens as a consequence in modern American Society.