The Four Fundamental Forces of Nature
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. The electromagnetic force binds atoms and molecules together. Within the atom, the positively charged proton keeps the negatively charged electron in orbit around nucleus.In a continuous process, the protons and electrons of one atom attract the protons and electrons of neighboring atoms to form a residual electromagnetic force. This residual electromagnetic force explains why we don’t fall through our chairs.
The force that we all are familiar with is gravity. It is the force of attraction between all masses. Gravity is actually called the “mass attraction force” and is also the force we know least about. It is the weakest of all the forces and has an infinite range.It is the only force that acts on all particles that have mass. This force always attracts and never repels. On a large scale, dealing with galaxies and stars, gravity is the strongest force.
Gravity keeps the planets in orbit and organisms on the ground. If there were the slightest decline in gravity, the planets would fall out of orbit and we would disperse into space. If there was an increase in gravity, the planet would clash with the sun, the stars would collide, and we would be pulled into the earth’s crust.The four fundamental forces of nature interact with one another to keep the planets in orbit, stars aligned, living organisms on the earth, and basically, our entire existence. The next goal for scientists is to construct a unified theory of the four fundamental forces. This is going to be an especially difficult feat because there is still a lot to comprehend about the forces individually. If anyone ever discovers one unified force, it could help us better understand the forces of nature.