Fundamental forces in nature


Force is the law of nature as the whole universe is led by an innate force. In our day-to-day life, we experience this phenomenon  in many ways. Force and energy are sometimes used interchangeably because energy acts as a raw material for the force. There are many fundamental forces in nature and for every task, we must use some or the other form of it. If we have to lift an object we use muscular strength whereas a vehicle uses petrol or diesel to generate an automotive force and the list goes on. In the past, scientists have attempted to explain a variety of forces existing in nature. Sir. Isaac Newton -a legend, for the first time explained the nature of forces witht he help of laws of motion. He quoted, the most popular form of a natural force is the gravitational attraction between the 2 or more bodies. The natural forces broadly fall under  4 categories;  Gravitational force, Electromagnetic force, Strong nuclear force and the Weak nuclear force. Let us explore each type of force in detail.


Gravitational force

Gravitation is one of the universal forces. It is an attractive pull by a body towards another body. Every object in its original form existing on the earth has  an attractive force towards the earth due to gravitation. A gravitational force is a weak force expressed by the strength 6 × 10-39. The effect of a gravitational force between any 2 objects depends upon the mass  and the distance between them. One of the best examples of gravitational force is the force of attraction between the sun and the earth. 


Electromagnetic force

Electromagnetic force is the consequence of 2 moving charges; electric force and the magnetic force. They both move perpendicular to each other. In general, the forces between the 2 charged objects are classified into attractive or repulsive forces and the force is attractive for unlike charges and repulsive for like charges. Moving charges of the electric and magnetic fields emit electromagnetic force (EMF). EMF is the  2nd strongest force having the strength of 1/137 relative to the strongest force on the universe. The electromagnetic force is the result of combined action between the electric and magnetic fields alongside the particle of light called a photon. Electromagnetic forces were earlier viewed as separate and independent but in a true sense, they form a real pair by complementing one another. The force of attraction or repulsion between the electric and magnetic fields is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. In order for the electromagnetic pull or repulsion to happen, there must be 2 poles. As a universal principle,  2 similar poles repel each other( North-North or South-South) and the 2 opposite poles( North-South or vice-versa) attract each other.


Strong nuclear force

A nuclear force in an atom  retains the proton and neutron inside the nucleus. It is the strongest of all forces with a very short range around 10-15m. We all know the power of a nuclear weapon, amazingly one of the most devastative forces from ancient times. Nuclear force is equal to 6,000 trillion X trillion X trillion (that’s 39 zeroes after 6!) times more powerful than the gravitational force. The world has witnessed many tragic events as a result of nuclear weapons. One such disaster is the Hiroshima Nagasaki event that shook the world. But, nuclear energy can be used for the well-being of human life. Many nuclear plants  compensate the shortfall of electricity from the other traditional sources. The force released during a nuclear action depends on their bond strength, in other words, the greater the bond strength, the more powerful is the nuclear force  when the atoms are broken or exploded.


Weak nuclear forces

This is the weak force result in the weak interaction between the bodies. One of the best examples of the weak nuclear force is the energy emitted during β- decay. It is a weaker force but not as weak as the gravitational force. Another example of the weak nuclear force is the fusion reaction helping the sun to generate heat and light.


Unification of Forces

Scientists found that the combined forces can be very much helpful in many scientific innovations. The unification of different forces have earned many advancements in the physics. By using the theory of gravitation, Newton unified terrestrial and celestial domains. Oersted and Faraday showed that the electric and magnetic fields are not independent of each other. Maxwell successfully unified electromagnetism and optics. Albert Einstein although attempted to unify gravity and electromagnetism but couldn’t succeed. In general, unification is the calculative combination of weaker and stronger forces to create another form of energy that helps to aid day to day tasks.



  1. Classify the strong and weak forces in the nature.

  2. Which is the strongest fundamental force in nature?

  3. Explain the nature of electromagnetic force.

  4. What differentiates a strong force from the weak force?






Course List