According to the big bang theory, a single force existed at the beginning of time. As the Universe expanded and cooled, this force was separated into electromagnetism, gravity, weak and strong nuclear forces. In this article, we shall discuss these four fundamental forces of the universe in detail.
What are the Universal Forces?
The four fundamental forces, also known as the Universal forces are electromagnetic force, strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force and gravitation. Among these forces, gravitation is the weakest and the strong nuclear force is the strongest. The strong nuclear force acts over a small distance while gravity acts over a long distance.
Scientists have been trying to combine all forces into one. James Maxwell was able to combine electrical and magnetic force into electromagnetic force. Similarly, scientists have combined electromagnetic and the weak force into the electroweak force but haven’t been able to combine any of the other forces yet.
Properties of Universal Forces
1. Strong Force
The strong force is a fundamental force that acts between subatomic particles of matter. The strong force is what binds the quarks together in clusters to form more familiar subatomic particles such as protons and neutrons. The force originates from a property known as the colour. This property has no connection with colour in the visual world. Particles without colour, for example, electrons, do not experience the strong force. But, particles with colour such as quarks do experience the strong force.
2. Electromagnetic Force
The electromagnetic force, also known as Lorentz’s Force explains how stationary and moving charged particles interact with each other. It is known as an electromagnetic force because of the presence of the formerly distinct electric and magnetic force.
The electric force acts between all charged particles whether they are moving or not. While magnetic force only acts between moving charged particles. This means that every charged particle whether moving or not gives off an electric field.
3. Weak Nuclear Force
While other forces hold things together, a weak nuclear force plays a greater role in making things fall apart. Although a stronger force than gravity, it is only effective at very short distances. The theory of weak nuclear force was first proposed by Enrico Fermi and was known at that time as Fermi’s interaction. Following are a few of the properties of weak force:
- It is the only kind of reaction that can change one kind of quark to other
- Weak forces are propagated by carrier particles that have significant masses.
- It violates parity-symmetry
- It violates charge-parity symmetry
Gravitational force is weakest of all. It is the force that decides how much we weigh and how far a basketball travels when it is thrown before it returns to the surface. When two objects are gravitationally locked, their gravitational force is centered in an area that is not the center of either of the objects, rather at the barycentre of the system.
When you weigh yourself, the scale tells you how much gravity is acting on your body. The formula we use to calculate our weight equals mass times gravity. Gravitational also affects space and time.
What is Unification of Force?
The unification of forces is the idea that it is possible to weave all of nature’s force into a single comprehensive force. Scientists have made great strides toward understanding how the forces can be combined.
Newton realized that the same gravitational force that describes an apple falling from the tree also describes the moon’s orbit around the Earth. Later in the 19th century, James Clerk Maxwell demonstrated that electric and magnetic force to be an aspect of a single electromagnetic force. Finally, in the 20th century, Steven Weinberg, Abdus Salam and Sheldon Lee Glashow discovered that at high energies, the electromagnetic force and the weak force merge into a single electroweak force.
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