Up until now, scientists have been of the view that there are four fundamental forces in Nature - gravity (the weakest of these, but the most significant over long distances, electromagnetism, the weak nuclear force which holds protons and neutrons together in the nucleus of an atom, and the strong nuclear force which holds these particles themselves together internally.
Now, after many experiments in the idyllic Irish countryside, a team of Very Clever Scientists announces the discovery of the FIFTH FORCE (F5). It is a moment that will echo through the hallowed halls of science, and will generate Nobel Prizes aplenty. The discovery of the F5 promises faster computing, cheaper access to outer space, time travel, and possibly cleaner footwear.
What is F5?
The Fifth Force is one of the most irresistible forces of nature - it is the force generated between a dog turd and the shoes of any small children within close proximity. Parents have known for years that when they take their small kids out for a walk, if there is a dog turd anywhere nearby, the child WILL stand in it, and WILL tramp it into your car or into the house. F5 works in an unusual way - although the child's mass and the turd's mass are very different (usually), the child is attracted towards the turd, rather than the turd towards the child. The asymmetry may be explained by the generation of a force-field around the turd that has an absolute reference frame, yet keeps pace with the earth's rotation and other factors that may influence the location of the turd. This may have implications for Einsteinian relativity, and has already been used in a prototype zero-energy engine, comprising a small child strapped into a harness, dangled 2 feet away from a dog turd (at foot level), in much the same way as a donkey/carrot/cart arrangement. Researchers are working on a vertical version which may show anti-gravity effects, allowing easier access to space, although how the field performs in an accelerating reference frame has yet to be established.
To explain the activity of this force, physicists have had to postulate the existence of force carriers, which are referred to as shitons. A fresh dog turd emits many more shitons than an old one, although even the white chalky turds still emit an appreciable number, and give rise to a statistically higher rate of child-stepping-into than, say, a dummy rubber decoy.
An interesting phenomenon that arises from this is that once the dog turd has been stepped in, the field dissipates for that child's foot, but the resultant relaxation of the field means that when the child enters a car or the house, the shitons mediate an attraction to every available surface, so the turd gets spread far and wide before the smell is noticed. Adults' trousers appear to be particularly vulnerable.
In prospective experiments, another unusual phenomenon has been demonstrated - the louder and more insistently an adult alerts a child to the presence of a dog turd, the greater the attractive force between the small child's foot and the turd seems to be, reaching near infinity with more anguished warnings.
Despite these stunning successes, team leader Dr Shane McKee has announced that he does not wish to renew his research grant, and wishes to leave further research to up-and-coming scientists. "I'm too old for this shite," he said.