# 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

#### Questions & Answers

In Inelastic collision cunculate the vilocity
elucidate
Usman
explain how a body becomes electrically charged based on the presence of charged particles
induction
babar
induction
DEMGUE
definitely by induction
Raymond
induction
Raymond
induction
Shah
induction
Korodhso
please why does a needle sinks in water
DEMGUE
induction
Korodhso
induction
Auwal
what are the calculations of Newton's third law of motiow
what is dark matter
(in some cosmological theories) non-luminous material which is postulated to exist in space and which could take either of two forms: weakly interacting particles ( cold dark matter ) or high-energy randomly moving particles created soon after the Big Bang ( hot dark matter ).
Usman
if the mass of a trolley is 0.1kg. calculate the weight of plasticine that is needed to compensate friction. (take g=10m/s and u=0.2)
what is a galaxy
what isflow rate of volume
flow rate is the volume of fluid which passes per unit time;
Rev
flow rate or discharge represnts the flow passing in unit volume per unit time
bhat
When two charges q1 and q2 are 6 and 5 coulomb what is ratio of force
When reducing the mass of a racing bike, the greatest benefit is realized from reducing the mass of the tires and wheel rims. Why does this allow a racer to achieve greater accelerations than would an identical reduction in the mass of the bicycle’s frame?
is that the answer
nehemiah
why is it proportional
i don't know
y
nehemiah
what are the relationship between distance and displacement
They are interchangeable.
Shii
Distance is scalar, displacement is vector because it must involve a direction as well as a magnitude. distance is the measurement of where you are and where you were displacement is a measurement of the change in position
Shii
Thanks a lot
Usman
I'm beginner in physics so I can't reason why v=u+at change to v2=u2+2as and vice versa
Usman
what is kinematics
praveen
kinematics is study of motion without considering the causes of the motion
Theo
The study of motion without considering the cause 0f it
Usman
why electrons close to the nucleus have less energy and why do electrons far from the nucleus have more energy
Theo
thank you frds
praveen
plz what is the third law of thermodynamics
third law of thermodynamics states that at 0k the particles will collalse its also known as death of universe it was framed at that time when it waa nt posible to reach 0k but it was proved wrong
bhat
I have not try that experiment but I think it will magnet....
Hey Rev. it will
Jeff
I do think so, it will
Chidera
yes it will
lasisi
If a magnet is in a pool of water, would it be able to have a magnetic field?.
yes Stella it would
Jeff
formula for electric current
what is that about pleace
Fokoua
what are you given?
Kudzy
what is current
Fokoua
I=q/t
saifullahi
Current is the flow of electric charge per unit time.
saifullahi
What are semi conductors
saifullahi
materials that allows charge to flow at varying conditions, temperature for instance.
Mokua
these are materials which have electrical conductivity greater than the insulators but less than metal, in these materials energy band Gap is very narrow as compared to insulators
Sunil
materials that allows charge to flow at varying conditions, temperature for instance.
Obasi
wao so awesome
Fokoua
At what point in the oscillation of beam will a body leave it?
Atambiri
what is gravitational force