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Q & A: nuclear force and quarks

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Most recent answer: 07/17/2014
Q:
The force that is binding or holding the protons and neutrons was called nuclear force. Now the question is, how nuclear force is generated? Why is electron orbiting around the nucleus is not falling down or touching the nucleus. What will happen if the electrons of an atom collide itself to its own nucleus. According to study, protons and neutrons are made up of quarks, again smallest particles. Then what do you call the force which is bonding together of this smallest particles of quarks.
- Deric (age 30)
Philippines
A:

The name of the force that acts between quarks is "chromodynamics". Although quarks are smaller than protons and neutrons, there's no guarantee that they will always be "smallest". Some internal structure may turn up at a deeper level, perhaps in string theory.

The strong nuclear force is not separate from the chromodynamic force. It's sort of what's left of the chromodynamic force on a larger scale after bundle of quarks are held together  by chromodynaics on a smaller scale. That's sort of like how electrically neutral molecules are held together by electrostatic forces, but there can still be some weak electrostatic forces between the molecules. 

As far as the relation between the electron and the nucleus goes, we've addressed that many times in the past. (, ) The fuzzy electron cloud does include the region where the nucleus is located, That overlap shows up in the interaction between the magnetic spins of the electron and the nucleus.

Mike W.


(published on 07/17/2014)

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