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The weakest force of the universe

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By: Risa Santoso 11 Diploma

Everything in the universe is made up of matters. Forces are what keeps everything from falling apart. Gravity, which are said to be the most dominant force in the universe are said to be the weakest force. To determine whether it is true or not, it is best to understand all of the fundamental forces first so to analyze them. There are a total of 4 fundamental forces of the universe; the gravitational force, the weak nuclear force, the electromagnetic-force and, the strong nuclear force.

As mentioned above, all the forces in the universe are based on the four fundamental forces. The strong and weak forces worked at very short distances. They are also responsible for holding certain nucleons and compound nuclei together[1]. The electromagnetic force acts between electric charges and the gravitational force acts between masses. The last two forces have an infinite in range. The four fundamental forces have its own usages and calculations –they are very different in nature. To compare the strength of the fundamental forces, a dimensionless constant should be searched (to find the relative strength of each of the forces). This dimensionless constant is called the coupling constant.  

First we can compare the coupling constant for the strong interaction in comparison to the electromagnetic force.

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After knowing the other three forces, we have to be able to relate them to the gravitational force. The gravitational force is present wherever matter is present. We are able to know from http://www.foge.org/lesson_plans/materials/spacescience_07a.pdf that the more matter that is present, the stronger the gravitational force is. This force can be said to be the dominant force in the universe because it is responsible for shaping the large scale structure of galaxies, stars, etc. From Sir Issac Newton’s theory of moon falling into the gravitational field and revolving around the earth because of the acceleration due to gravity (creating the orbit), he came to the conclusion that any two objects in the universe exert gravitational attraction on each other[7]. This creates the relationship shown below.

image18.pngimage18.png with the unit of energy times distance.

Where m1 and m2 as the masses, image02.pngimage02.png, and r is the distance between the two point masses. This shows that the strength of gravitational force can be related to the force between two selected masses.

Since the masses and charges of basic particles like the electron and proton are independent of each other, the strength of the gravity force relative to the electromagnetic force depends upon which particles you choose for comparison. If two protons are chosen for the comparison, then


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http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/phy00/phy00534.htm) [21 May 2009]Fermilab; “How Strong is the Strong Force?” Inquiring minds (http://www.fnal.gov/pub/inquiring/questions/strong_force.html) [22 May 2009]Pathlights; “The Elemental Forces of the Universe” (http://www.pathlights.com/ce_encyclopedia/Encyclopedia/01-ma10.htm#Gravity) [22 May 2009]NASA; “NASA; Imagine the universe” (http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/980127c.html) [22 May 2009]Dr. Ken Mellendrof’s answer to “How gravity can escape the event horizon and affects the space surrounding the event horizon?”


  1. Dr. Ken Mellendrof’s answer to “How gravity can escape the event horizon and affects the space surrounding the event horizon?”
  1. Interview with Ms. Novi, High school teacher, majoring at science at Sekolah Ciputra Surabaya

[1] Anon; “The Four Fundamental Forces” (http://www.phys.unm.edu/~gbtaylor/phys102/lectures/22_forces.pdf) [22 May 2009]

[2] Anon, “Strong Force Coupling Constant” (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/HBASE/forces/couple.html#c2) [22 May 2009]

[3] Fermilab; “How Strong is the Strong Force?” Inquiring minds (http://www.fnal.gov/pub/inquiring/questions/strong_force.html) [22 May 2009]

[4] Anon, “Strong Force Coupling Constant” (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/HBASE/forces/couple.html#c2) [22 May 2009]

[5] Anon, “The Electromagnetic Coupling Constant” (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/HBASE/forces/couple.html#c3) [22 May 2009]

[6] Fermilab; “How Strong is the Strong Force?” Inquiring minds (http://www.fnal.gov/pub/inquiring/questions/strong_force.html) [22 May 2009]

[7] Anon; “Sir Issac’s Most Excellent Idea” (http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/history/newtongrav.html) [21 May 2009]

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