# Thread: What makesthe 4 fundamental forces different?

1. It seems like all 4 are a force that is pulling particles closer together or further apart. So is it one force, and they are all just defined on what that force acts on? What proves that it is a 'different' force?

2.

3. They are fundamentally different. For example, a proton is positively charged and an electron is negatively charged.
That is one force at work.
When an atom has more than one proton; two like- charges, the Nuclear Force must be strong enough to overwhelm the electrical force that would cause the protons to repel each other, holding them together.
Gravity is extremely weak compared to these forces. But gravity has the advantage of mass. It also can extend in every direction, vast distances while the Nuclear Force only applies within a very short radius of an atoms nucleus. It does not even apply at distances as great as the electron cloud of that atom.
Although we can say they are very different, scientists are not really sure what causes them.

4. What proves that it is a 'different' force?
They all behave in very different manners.

5. Well... fine. Be all simple about it then.
Here I was thinkin' "Alright, now we will see a post that really spells it out and corrects any previous errors."

And you're all, "'Cus they are different."

I hope you don't find any clean socks in the morning.

6. Originally Posted by Neverfly
I hope you don't find any clean socks in the morning.
As a matter of fact I didn't

Sometimes it is best to answer in a very simple manner and see what comes back. I want to see first what his level of knowledge and understanding is before I fire off lectures about symmetry groups and quantum fields...

7. Oh god I want to hear about symmetry groups! I feel all of the 4 forces must be the same force, but acting on different levels: All of the somethings in a particle cause them to attract, causing what we see as the 'nuclear force' ; and then the combined attractiveness of all the nuclear forces into a larger mass is what we see as 'gravity'.

8. So of course they would appear to be different at different levels of scale, like a water molecule acts different than a raindrop acts different from an ocean.

9. 1 force to hold the protons together
ok
1 force to keep the electrons from rushing in toward their opposite charged particles?

10. My thinking is to imagine there are two states, positive and negative, and the normal rules we think of apply to them. A system that is mostly + will attract systems that are mostly -

But WITHIN each of those systems are both + and -, which will repel and attract as normal. The bringing-together is slightly stronger than the pushing-apart, so that above a certain scale (above the 'quantum limit') it doesn't matter the charges of the bodies anymore, there is enough of those interactions to hold things together. So the same force (the duality) can both hold things together, and keep things separate, depending on their scale.

11. Originally Posted by Piemaster
My thinking is to imagine there are two states, positive and negative, and the normal rules we think of apply to them. A system that is mostly + will attract systems that are mostly -

But WITHIN each of those systems are both + and -, which will repel and attract as normal. The bringing-together is slightly stronger than the pushing-apart, so that above a certain scale (above the 'quantum limit') it doesn't matter the charges of the bodies anymore, there is enough of those interactions to hold things together. So the same force (the duality) can both hold things together, and keep things separate, depending on their scale.
The fundamental forces are carried from one particle to another by particular particles, called force carriers, which except for gravity have been seen in the laboratory. These force carriers have different properties, and in particular their masses are different. None of the force carriers have been seen to turn into one of the others, although in some cases one force carrier can turn into a pair of carriers of another type. There is, however, no way to tie the two particles of a pair permanently into the force carrier they came from. Under these circumstances, it seems best to consider the associated forces as being fundamentally different.

That is not to say that other people don't share your desire to see connections. These connections seem to be of the nature of similar rules for the way the forces work, including perhaps some relations between the strengths of some of the forces. These relationships are explored in what is called "unified field theory," and some of the similarities are referred to by calling the various descriptions gauge theories. However, it seems that even in a unified gauge theory, there will be sufficient differences between various forces that it is more useful to call them "related" forces of "different types."

I hope this somewhat loose description will be useful.

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