What are The Fundamental Forces in Nature?

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Force plays an important role in our everyday life, starting from lifting a glass of water to lifting, pushing or pulling an object. We definitely need the force. There are four fundamental forces in nature. The fundamental forces are the reason for every event occurring in nature. Force is just an action to cause either to push, pull, lift or displace anything. According to Newton’s second law of motion, force is defined as the product of mass and acceleration. In this article, we will have a deep insight into the four fundamental forces. 

Four Fundamental Forces of Nature:

The four fundamental forces in nature are,

  1. Gravitational force

  2. Electromagnetic Force

  3. Weak Nuclear Force

  4. Strong Nuclear force

Let us discuss the four fundamental forces one by one in detail,

Gravitational Force:

  • Why are we standing on the earth, why is throwing an object in the air falling to the ground? Etc, for these questions, the answer is the effect of gravitational force. Due to the effect of the gravitational force of the earth holds us to the planet. Gravitational force is the force that is responsible for holding planets in their orbits and this is due to their infinitely long-range.

  • Gravitational force is one of the four fundamental forces. It is considered to be the weakest of the four. The gravitational force is attractive in nature.

  • The gravitation effect was first elaborated by Newton, he framed a law that is well known as Newton’s law of gravity. According to Newton’s law of gravity, it states that the gravitational force between two point objects is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the two.

  • When we consider massive objects, like the sun, or giant planets, the gravitational force is considered to be strong as the masses of these objects are considerably heavy. On the other hand on an atomic level, the gravitational force is considered weak.

  • Mathematical representation of Gravitational force is given by,

\[\Rightarrow F_{g}=\frac{Gm_{1}m_{2}}{r^{2}}\]


G - The universal gravitational constant

m1 - The mass of the first object

m2 - The mass of the second object

r - The distance between the two

  • Examples of gravitational force are, the moon revolving around the earth is due to the presence of gravity between the earth and the moon. When we throw a ball in the air it falls effortlessly due to gravity.

Electromagnetic Force:

  • We know that everything on this earth is made up of atoms. Atoms consist of a dense nucleus with protons, neutrons, and electrons. Electrons are the part of an atom but they reside outside the nucleus, electrons occupy the outermost orbit of an atom. Electrons are negatively charged.

  • According to the laws of physics, particles are only attracted to particles that have an opposite charge and repel those with like charges in other words like charges repel and unlike charges attract each other.

  • Have you ever wondered why a comb gets charged when you continuously brush your hair? Why are the subatomic particles held together? The reason being the Electromagnetic forces.

  • The Electromagnetic forces are long-range and the effect of electromagnetic forces reduces over distance due to the shielding effect. Subatomic particles which are short-range and electromagnetic are strong enough. But, Electromagnetic forces are considered strong forces but still they are weak in comparison to strong nuclear forces.

Strong Nuclear Forces:

  • Among the four fundamental forces, nuclear forces are the strongest attractive forces in nature. We know that the matter is held together due to electromagnetic forces. Then the question that arose was, how the nucleus was held in the atom, initially, there was no explanation on how the nucleus is held together in the atom. 

  • If we consider only electromagnetic forces and gravitational forces, then the nucleus cannot be held together in the atom, it doesn’t imply that there exists another force within the nucleus that is stronger than the gravitational force and electromagnetic force. 

  • This led to identifying the nuclear forces. Strong nuclear forces are responsible for holding the nuclei of atoms together. Same charged protons attract each other due to Nuclear force.

  • The strong nuclear forces are the dominant force in reactions and it is so strong that it binds protons with like charges to the nucleus. It is most attractive in nature but can be repulsive sometimes. The nuclear forces have a range of 1fm.

Weak Nuclear Forces:

The weak force is the force existing between the elementary particles which are responsible for certain processes to take place at a low probability. Physicists describe this interaction through the exchange of force-carrying particles called bosons. Specific kinds of bosons are responsible for the weak force, the electromagnetic force, and the strong force. Let us have a look at the important properties of weak nuclear forces:

  • The weak nuclear force is the only force that does not follow parity-symmetry.

  • The weak nuclear is the only fundamental force that does not follow charge-parity symmetry.

  • The weak nuclear force is responsible for the change in quark into other forms.

  • Carrier particles with considerable masses are responsible for the propagation of the weak force.

Did You Know?

Fundamental forces are also considered as interactions because they are discussed on the basis of interactions taking place between two objects irrespective of the size. They are termed fundamental interactions in nature. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are the Fundamental Forces? Name any Two Fundamental Forces in Nature.

Ans: The fundamental forces are those every interaction happening can be described using them. There are four fundamental forces in nature ranging from the Gravitational force, Electromagnetic force, strong nuclear forces, and weak nuclear forces.

2. Define Fundamental Forces.

Ans: The fundamental forces definition actually does not exist but we can say these are the forces that help to explain every action and reaction. Physicists used these as the basic explanation for the experimental results. These are termed as fundamental forces as there is no other simpler way for scientists to understand what these forces do and why they do it.