Fundamental Forces of Nature
One of the clearest memories of my childhood is blanketed by the night sky. I remember crouching in the balcony of my house, wrapping my thin, dry hands around my body, trying to ward the cold of the night away, as I stared up above, at the infinite sky. In these quiet moments, I would ask myself if there really was a God hidden amongst the stars, staring back at me. Well, I’m all grown up now and I’m still not sure about the Gods but there are fundamental forces that govern everything your eyes can behold and beyond.
These forces are four, the fundamental forces of nature that have been christened as,
- The strong interaction
- The electromagnetic forces
- The weak forces
- The gravitational forces
They are of paramount importance to us, for they are all-pervading. The strong force as the name implies it is the strongest of them all. It is responsible for binding together the fundamental particles of matter to form larger particles. The strong force holds together the Nucleus of the atom. This force is ridiculously strong but extremely short ranged. It is basically attractive but can be effectively repulsive in certain circumstances. The electromagnetic force is weaker but long range. It could be attractive or repulsive, opposite charges attract while like charges, repel. Everything in this universe is subjected to gravitational force. Be it the sun or the pen on your table or you itself. Gravitational force is the attractive force between all the objects with mass. The weak force is responsible for radioactive decay and also neutrino interactions, it is short ranged and weak as the name suggests. For instance, water is held together in the liquid form by weak interactive forces between the bipolar molecules of water. Explain what would happen if this weak insignificant force disappeared. All the water would vanish as gas.
Our very survival rests on these four fundamental forces of nature. All the while, as you read this article sitting on your chair, the atoms in your body aren’t actually touching the atoms in the chair. The familiar Gravitation is pulling you down onto your chair. While the electromagnetic interactions in the computer screen are responsible for generating light that helps you read. And now when you look up at the night sky, all grown up, you can marvel at the forces that are all around us. For if you seek answers regarding these you will find it, unlike that elusive thing called God.
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