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The Strong Force Is Only Effective In The Nucleous

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Posted by Rowanda on February 23, 2005 13:37:27 UTC

The Strong Force is what keeps neutrons and protons inside the nucleous of an atom. Actually it is only strong at the boundaries of the nucleous and essentially zero inside so that the quarks are free to fly around and bounce off the boundaries. Neutrons and protons are made out of quarks. So the strong force is very weak inside the boundarries, very strong at the boundaries of nuclei and zero way outside the boundary where the electrons live.

An interesting question is what keeps the electrons out there. Certainly not the strong force or the weak force. Not even the electromagnetic (ie. electrostatic) force as that is what attract electrons to the nuclei of atoms.

Now I am speculating a bit but it appears that it is some kind of quantum mechanical force that is operative. Electrons are fermions so they cannot occupy the same energy state like bosons (eg. photons) do. The electrostatic field around the nucleous of an atom is effectively quantized into descrete energy levels and the electrons are confined to these energy levels.

So what is the force that confines the electrons to descrete energy levels. It is not one of the four known forces of nature. But it kinda acts like the strong force as its only function is confinement. But the confinement is not as strong as in the nucleous as electrons can be excited to higher energy levels and even can with enough energy escape from the atom.

So what should we call the confinement force. I suggest the 'quantized electrostatic fermionic' force. But really I think of it as a quantum confinement force- the force of a quantized field combined with the Pauli Principle that no two fermions can occupy the same energy state.

So then my next question is: What keeps the quarks from occupying the same energy levels inside the nuclei; or rather, do quarks exist in energy levels and what are they. Never studied that. Does anyone on this forum know- Bruce, Richard, Harv, Mike.

Not wanda

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