Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: Necessity of fundamental forces

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 02/15/2008
Q:
this is probably obvious, but why are there fundamental forces as opposed to no fundamental forces?

what i mean really is: wouldnt it be easier and more logical for the forces NOT to exist rather than TO exist?
- John Gribben (age 39)
belfast
A:
You are absolutely correct.   It would be much easier to have ’no fundamental forces’.  Unfortunately we wouldn’t be around to enjoy this logistic simplicity because the so-called ’fundamental forces’ are: what keeps the earth in orbit around the sun; make our motors run and light our light bulbs; as well as hold together the atoms and molecules that make up our world and even ourselves.
We know there are three fundamental forces:  gravity, electric (unified with beta decay), and strong forces that hold the nucleus together.  Much of the scientific progress in the 20th century has been due to the understanding of the nature and consequences of these forces.  We have to confess that we really don't understand why there are only three forces, instead of 2 or 4.  That is one of the unsolved mysteries of science

LeeH

(published on 02/15/2008)

Follow-up on this answer.