What are Force and Fundamental Forces in nature?

Have you read the concepts of “FORCES” in the schools and colleges and wondered what its deeper essence is?
Indeed, with this post, we will see a deeper perspective of the term “FORCES” and fundamental forces in nature.

Physics deals with causes and effects, including the decay of particles, the falling of apples to the rotation of planets, and the big bang. Force is a quantity that describes interactions between objects that may change the object’s shape, state of motion, or direction. In general, all the forces in nature can be roughly boiled down to two types, i.e., push or pull. It doesn’t matter whether it’s mechanical or chemical forces; it can easily be put in these two boxes of push and pull.

Let us say; that when you drop an egg, it gets velocity as it goes down, i.e., it is getting in a state of motion from rest under the influence of gravitational force (Pull). Now the same egg, when it comes in contact with the ground, will get broken under the influence of contact force offered by the ground (Push). Similarly, when two atoms get closer, the type of interaction and force is also either pushing away or pulling near each other (Pull and Push).

Force is an interaction that causes a change in an object’s state of motion.
It is a vector quantity, meaning it has magnitude and directions and follows vector algebra. SI unit is Newton, and the CGS unit is Dyne.

– Definition

Fundamental Forces of Nature

Fundamentally, four types of forces govern the interaction of any physical system. These are –

Gravitational force

The force that acts between masses. Any object with a mass greater than zero is bound to experience a gravitational force when interacting with any object. Example – the falling of egg as described above. The obvious question arises, how are these forces generated. And to answer that, Newton considered gravity as the literal attraction between objects, whereas Einstein proposed that it is a consequence of the bending of space-time.

Electromagnetic force

The forces that act between charged particles like negatively charged electrons and positively charged protons. Electromagnetic forces are a combination of two forces electric forces (that arise from charge) and magnetic forces (that arise from the motion of charge). And the carriers of these forces are termed photons.

Strong nuclear force

This force binds the fundamental particles together and acts within the nucleus. It acts on the quarks that make up the fundamental particle, i.e., proton and neutron. As the name suggests, it is the strongest of all forces, but its effects are only significant at small distances.

Weak nuclear force

The force that arises during the decay of the particles. The carrier for these forces is considered to be bosons. And as the name suggests, it is the weakest of all forces and can only show effects at small distances.

To formulate a “Theory of Everything,” scientists are pursuing to unify these four forces that can define any physical system’s interaction. (That we will discuss in another post.)

This blog post shows that every force can be simplified into fundamental forces.

Classification of forces

Apart from that classification, we can also place forces in these two broad categories.

Contact forces

As the name suggests these forces arise when two interacting bodies are considered to be in physical contact with each other. These forces include Tension forces (The force exerted by an object when pulled upon from an opposite end), Friction forces (The force that arises when one object moves or tends to move across another object), and Normal forces (Normal force is an interesting concept, even though in many cases it’s equal to the weight of the object, but weight is a non-contact force, whereas Normal forces always arise because of contact).

Non-contact forces

As the name suggests, these forces can arise even when the two interacting bodies are not in physical contact with each other and maintain a certain distance. However, they can generate push and pull between the objects. These forces include Gravitational forces (The force that arises due to the masses of objects), Electrical forcs (The force that arises due to the charge on the body), and Magnetic forces ( The force that arises due to the magnetic behavior of the body).

Points to remember –

Force is a quantity that describes interactions between objects that may change the object’s shape, state of motion, or it’s direction. It is a vector quantity with SI unit Newton.

There are four fundamental forces – Gravitational forces, Electromagnetic forces, Strong nuclear forces and Weak nuclear forces.


Broadly forces can be of two types – contact forces and non-contact forces

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