The Four Fundamental Forces of Nature

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The Four Fundamental Forces of Nature

By | December 2010
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The universe is governed by four fundamental forces, or interactions. These forces are the strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force, electromagnetic force, and gravity. The first two forces work on the atomic level but we can observe gravity and electromagnetism every day. Without these four fundamental forces of nature working together, our world would break apart and float aimlessly into oblivion. The strongest of the four fundamental forces of nature is the strong nuclear force, also called the strong interaction. This force acts against the forces of repulsion of protons and binds neutrons and protons to contain them inside the atomic nuclei. This is how the nucleus of the atom is formed. The force is so strong that the minute particle that carries the force is called “gluon,” which is means “glue” in Latin. The strength of this force is very particular. The protons and electrons are sensitive and have to be specifically arranged and a have the right distance apart. The weak force, also known as the weak interaction, maintains the balance of order within the nucleus of the atom. This balance of protons and neutrons guarantees that things do not suddenly fall apart or release any harmful radiation. As the balance is maintained, atoms are able to transform without disintegrating and continue to exist. The weak nuclear force acts as a “safety belt” that protects our existence from any harm that would come from unconfined, uncontrollable particles. It is also responsible for radioactive decay, more specifically, beta decay. Beta decay happens inside the nucleus and is the change of a neutron into a proton and an electron. The electromagnetic force acts between electrically charged particles. This force entails that particles with opposite charges attract, while like charges repel. The electromagnetic force has an infinite range and involves the exchange of photons. According to quantum electrodynamics, photons work on both the microscopic and macroscopic level....
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