I read a book a few years ago on quantum physics that was quite interesting. Unfortunately I can’t remember a lot of things from the book, including two things in particular that are bugging me. I recall the four elemental forces in order of their strength are the strong force, weak force, electromagnetic force, and gravitational force. The strong force, it was written, was once defined as the attractive force between the particles in the nucleus of an atom. That attraction is actually just a residual effect from what we now consider the strong force to be however, which is the attraction of different color quarks within those particles. I think I have the strong force down. I’m curious though, I remember there being quarks that come in twos instead of threes, those being charged with positive and negative instead of red, blue, and green. Are those particles attracted to each other with the electromagnetic force, or the strong force, or even the weak force? For that matter, what is the weak force? I don’t remember it at all.
Those are my two questions, but for the sake of completion, I’ll go over the other two forces briefly. The electromagnetic force is the force between protons and electrons, and causes many phenomena on a greater scale. The gravitational force is pretty obviously the attractive force between any particles or groups of particles with mass. Actually, now that I mention gravity, I have a question about it too. When I’ve read about Einstein’s theories of relativity, he suggested that gravity was caused by a curvature of space. Metaphorically, massive objects caused holes in space which other objects would fall into. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has heard the example with the bedsheet and two balls. However, recently I hear about gravity being caused by particles called gravitons. Has the graviton theory became more popular than Einstein’s? Or are they actually the same theory somehow? I find it odd that string theory supports the particle idea (according to an episode of Nova I watched). It says that gravitons travel into the other dimensions of the multiverse that we cannot perceive. However, assuming gravitons travel in straight lines, I cannot perceive them actually having an affect on our universe. To dumb it down to our number of dimensions, imagine a two-dimensional plane in our universe with a black hole within it. (I’m imagining a black hole as a singularity, for simplicity.) Unless that plane is defined by the path of one or two gravitons, the chance of a graviton just happening to travel along the plane is 0. Thus one can conclude that the two-dimensional universe would not be effected by gravity. What’s different about our three-dimensional universe in a greater multiverse? I have other issues with what I’ve heard about string theory as well, but they’re not within the topic, so maybe some other time. [smiles]
That ended up being a lot more than I intended to say, but hopefully I can get resolution to these questions I’ve been wondering about quantum mechanics and maybe we can start a conversation about the elemental forces.