Fundamental Forces of Nature

Forces are interactions between the fundamental particles described on the previous page and they involve the exchange of another group of elementary particles known as bosons. Force bosons (or exchange bosons) are emitted and absorbed by particles that are affected by the interaction. The exchange of bosons allows particles to feel the presence of others.

Table of forces & their respective bosons

The fourth force is gravity who's exchange boson is the graviton. As far as we know, this has no observable effect in particle physics experiments and the graviton has not yet been discovered. The table below gives the basic properties of each force: 


  • short range
  • binds quarks into hadrons
  • binds protons and neutrons into nuclei
  • only quarks feel the strong force
  • infinite range
  • all charged particles feel the electromagnetic force
  • very short range
  • bosons are very unstable
  • bosons have mass
  • quarks and leptons feel the weak force

Last modified Wed 23 January 2002 . View page history
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