# 4.8 Extended topic: the four basic forces—an introduction

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• Understand the four basic forces that underlie the processes in nature.

One of the most remarkable simplifications in physics is that only four distinct forces account for all known phenomena. In fact, nearly all of the forces we experience directly are due to only one basic force, called the electromagnetic force. (The gravitational force is the only force we experience directly that is not electromagnetic.) This is a tremendous simplification of the myriad of apparently different forces we can list, only a few of which were discussed in the previous section. As we will see, the basic forces are all thought to act through the exchange of microscopic carrier particles, and the characteristics of the basic forces are determined by the types of particles exchanged. Action at a distance, such as the gravitational force of Earth on the Moon, is explained by the existence of a force field    rather than by “physical contact.”

The four basic forces are the gravitational force, the electromagnetic force, the weak nuclear force, and the strong nuclear force. Their properties are summarized in [link] . Since the weak and strong nuclear forces act over an extremely short range, the size of a nucleus or less, we do not experience them directly, although they are crucial to the very structure of matter. These forces determine which nuclei are stable and which decay, and they are the basis of the release of energy in certain nuclear reactions. Nuclear forces determine not only the stability of nuclei, but also the relative abundance of elements in nature. The properties of the nucleus of an atom determine the number of electrons it has and, thus, indirectly determine the chemistry of the atom. More will be said of all of these topics in later chapters.

## Concept connections: the four basic forces

The four basic forces will be encountered in more detail as you progress through the text. The gravitational force is defined in Uniform Circular Motion and Gravitation , electric force in Electric Charge and Electric Field , magnetic force in Magnetism , and nuclear forces in Radioactivity and Nuclear Physics . On a macroscopic scale, electromagnetism and gravity are the basis for all forces. The nuclear forces are vital to the substructure of matter, but they are not directly experienced on the macroscopic scale.

Properties of the four basic forces The graviton is a proposed particle, though it has not yet been observed by scientists. See the discussion of gravitational waves later in this section. The particles ${\text{W}}^{+}$ , ${\text{W}}^{-}$ , and ${\text{Z}}^{0}$ are called vector bosons; these were predicted by theory and first observed in 1983. There are eight types of gluons proposed by scientists, and their existence is indicated by meson exchange in the nuclei of atoms.
Force Approximate Relative Strengths Range Attraction/Repulsion Carrier Particle
Gravitational ${\text{10}}^{-\text{38}}$ $\infty$ attractive only Graviton
Electromagnetic ${\text{10}}^{–2}$ $\infty$ attractive and repulsive Photon
Weak nuclear ${\text{10}}^{–\text{13}}$ < ${10}^{–18}\text{m}$ attractive and repulsive ${\text{W}}^{+}$ , ${\text{W}}^{–}$ , ${\text{Z}}^{0}$
Strong nuclear $1$ < ${10}^{–15}\text{m}$ attractive and repulsive gluons

Is earth is an inertial frame?
Hey.. I've a question.
?
Shii
Is earth inertia frame?
Sahim
only the center
Shii
what would be the correct interrogation "what is time?" or "how much has your watch ticked?"
a load of 20N on a wire of cross sectional area 8×10^-7m produces an extension of 10.4m. calculate the young modules of the material of the wire is of length 5m
Young's modulus = stress/strain strain = extension/length (x/l) stress = force/area (F/A) stress/strain is F l/A x
El
so solve it
Ebenezer
Ebenezer
two bodies x and y start from rest and move with uniform acceleration of a and 4a respectively. if the bodies cover the same distance in terms of tx and ty what is the ratio of tx to ty
what is cesium atoms?
The atoms which form the element Cesium are known as Cesium atoms.
Naman
A material that combines with and removes trace gases from vacuum tubes.
Shankar
what is difference between entropy and heat capacity
Varun
Heat capacity can be defined as the amount of thermal energy required to warm the sample by 1°C. entropy is the disorder of the system. heat capacity is high when the disorder is high.
Chathu
I want learn physics
sir how to understanding clearly
Vinodhini
try to imagine everything you study in 3d
revolutionary
pls give me one title
Vinodhini
displacement acceleration how understand
Vinodhini
vernier caliper usage practically
Vinodhini
karthik sir is there
Vinodhini
what are the solution to all the exercise..?
What is realm
The quantum realm, also called the quantum scale, is a term of art inphysics referring to scales where quantum mechanical effects become important when studied as an isolated system. Typically, this means distances of 100 nanometers (10−9meters) or less or at very low temperature.
revolutionary
How to understand physics
i like physics very much
Vinodhini
i want know physics practically where used in daily life
Vinodhini
I want to teach physics very interesting to studentd
Vinodhini
hy
sir
Vinodhini
how can you build interest in physics
Prince
Austin
understanding difficult
Vinodhini
vinodhini mam, physics is used in our day to day life in all events..... everything happening around us can be explained in the base of physics..... saying simple stories happening in our daily life and relating it to physics and questioning students about how or why its happening like that can make
revolutionary
revolutionary
anything send about physics daily life
Vinodhini
How to understand easily
Vinodhini
revolutionary
even when you see this message in your phone...it works accord to a physics principle. you touch screen works based on physics, your internet works based on physics, etc....... check out google and search for it
revolutionary
hi vinodhini
Karthi
hi
yea
Solomon
Hi guys
poojaa
hello
Abednego
what is mean by Newtonian principle of Relativity? definition and explanation with example
what is art physics
I've been trying to download a good and comprehensive textbook for physics, pls can somebody help me out?
Olanrewaju
try COLLEGE PHYSICS!! I think it will give you an edge.
Lawal
smith
This may seem like a really stupid question, but is mechanical energy the same as potential energy? If not, what is the difference?
what is c=1\c1,c=2\c2,c=3\c3
Akinbulejo
mechanical energy is of two types 1: kinetic energy 2: potential energy,so, potential energy is actually the type of mechanical energy ,the mechanical due to position is designated as potential energy
Iram
Thank you!!!!!
Nikki
Can someone possibly walk me through this problem? " A worker drives a 0.500 kg spike into a rail tie with a 2.50 kg sledgehammer. The hammer hits the spike with a speed of 65.0 m/s. If one-third Of the hammer's kinetic energy is converted to the internal energy of rhe hammer and spike.
Nikki
how much does the total internal energy increase
Nikki
you know the mass and the velocity of the hammer. therefore using the equation (mv^2)/2 you can find the kinetic energy. then take one third of this value and that will be your change in internal energy. here, the important thing is that spike is stationary so it does not contribute to initial Energ
Chathu
Thabk you! :)
Nikki
what is the formula for finding the to total capacitance in series arrangement
Don't know
Ugwu
C = 1/C1+1/C2+1/C3
Nangbun
c=1/c1+1/c2+1/c3
Akinbulejo
what is heat capacity?
Amount of heat that increases the temperature of 1 kg of matter by 1 degree(either celsius or kalvin)
Mateo
it is the ratio between the amount of heat added to an object and the temperature change
Giovanni
what is the different between specific heat capacity and latent heat capacity?
smith