What are the four fundamental forces of nature?« Back to Questions List

You may not be aware that you are always acted upon by many forces of nature. There are four fundamental forces. One such is the gravitational force of the earth which pulls you towards the ground.

The electromagnetic force holds the atoms and molecules of the object together and is so dominant that you don’t fall through the chair due to the gravitational pull. At the subatomic level, electromagnetism is the force between electrically charged particles.

The other two forces are the strong and weak force. They work at atomic level which we cannot feel. The ‘strong’ force holds the nucleus of the atom together against the enormous force of repulsion of protons within them. It is indeed a very strong force. Though it is the strongest of the four forces, it is short-ranged restricted to the size of nucleus.


The ‘weak’ force is necessary to build-up the heavy nuclei and is responsible for radio-active decay. During radioactive decay, a neutron decays into a proton, anti-neutrino and electron. The electron and anti-neutrino are ejected from the nucleus. The force responsible for this decay is weaker than the strong force and hence named the weak force.

Without these fundamental forces we all will be floating around. In spite of being the weakest force, the gravitational force is the most important one because it is long-ranged. When considering massive objects like earth, stars, galaxies, gravity appears to be the most powerful force. However, when you apply gravity to the atomic level, it has little effect because the masses of subatomic particles are so small.



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