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Current time:0:00Total duration:10:29

Video transcript

what I want to do in this video is give a very high-level overview of the four fundamental forces four fundamental forces of the universe and I'm going to start with gravity I'm going to start with gravity and it might surprise some of you that gravity is actually the weakest of the four fundamental forces that's surprising because you say wow that's what keeps us glued not glued but it keeps us from jumping off the planet it's what keeps the moon in orbit around the earth the earth in orbit around the Sun the Sun in orbit around the the center of the Milky Way galaxy so it's it's a little bit surprising that it's actually the weakest of the forces and and that starts to make sense when you actually think about things on maybe more of a human scale or a molecular scale or even an atomic scale even on a human scale your computer monitor and you have some type of gravitational attraction but you don't notice it or your cell phone and your wallet there's gravitational attraction but you don't see them being drawn to each other the way you might see two magnets drawn to each other or repelled from each other and if you've got even a smaller scale you'll see that it matters even less we never even talk about gravity and chemistry although the gravity is there but at those scales the other forces really really really start to dominate so gravity's are weakest so if we move up a little bit from that we get and this is maybe the the hardest force for us to visualize or at least the hardest the least intuitive force for me is actually the weak force the weak sometimes called the weak interaction and it's what's responsible for radioactive decay in particular beta minus and beta plus decay and just to give you an example of the actual weak interaction if I had some cesium 137 137 means it has 137 nucleons a nucleon is either a proton or a neutron you add up the protons and neutrons of cesium you get 137 and it is cesium because it has exactly 55 protons now the weak interaction is what's responsible for one of the neutrons essentially one of its corks flipping and turning into a proton and I'm not going to go into detail of what a cork is and all of that and the math can get pretty hairy but I just want to give you an example of what the weak interaction does so if one of these one of these neutrons turns into a proton then we're going to have one extra proton but we have the same number of nucleons instead of a extra Neutron here you now have an extra proton here and so now this is a different atom it is now barium and in that flipping it will actually emit it'll actually emit an electron and an anti-electron neutrino and I'm not going to go into the details of what an anti-electron neutrino is these are fundamental particles but this is just what that weak interaction is it's not something that's completely obvious to us it's not kind of this traditional things pulling or pushing away from each other like we would like we associate with the other the other forces now the next strongest force and just to give a sense of how weak gravity is even relative to the weak interaction the weak interaction is 10 to the 25th times the strength of gravity times the strength of gravity and you might anything if this is so strong how come this doesn't operate on planets or us relative to the earth or the reason you know why doesn't this apply to intergalactic distances the way gravity does and the reason is the weak interaction really applies to very small distances very very small distances so it can be much stronger than gravity but only over very very and it really only applies on the sub atomic scale you go anything beyond that it kind of disappears as an actual force as an actual interaction now the next the next force up the hierarchy which is one that we are more familiar with it is something it's what actually dominates most of the chemistry that we deal with and electromagnetism that we deal with and that's the electro magnetic force we write it in magenta electro magnetic magnetic force and just to give a sense this is this is 10 to the 36 times the strength of gravity 10 to 36 times the strength of gravity so it kind of puts the weak force in its place it's 10 to the 12 times stronger than the weak force so these are huge numbers that we're talking about either this relative that or even this relative to gravity and so you might be saying well you know the electromagnetic force that's unbelievably strong why doesn't that apply over over over these these kind of macro scales like gravity let me write there macro scales macro scales why doesn't it apply to macro scales and actually there's nothing about the electromagnetic force why it can't it or it actually does apply over large distances the reality though is you don't have these huge concentrations of either electric Ullom charges or magnetism the way you do mass so the mass that you have such huge concentrations it can operate over huge huge distances even though it's way way way weaker than the electromagnetic force the electromagnetic force what happens is because it's both attractive and repulsive it tends to kind of sort itself out so you don't have these huge huge huge concentrations of charge now the other thing you might be wondering about is you know why is it called the electromagnetic force in our everyday life there's things like there's things like the Coulomb force that or the electrostatic force which we're familiar with positive charges or like charges want to repel if both of these were negative the same thing would be happening and different charges like to attract we've seen this multiple times this is the Coulomb force or the electrostatic force electro static and then on the other side of the word yes you have the magnetic part and magnets you know you have you've played with magnets on your fridge they what's what you know if they're the same side of the magnet they're going to repel each other if they're the opposite sides opposite poles they're going to attract each other so why is it called one force and it's called one force and once again I'm not going to go into detail here it's called one force because it turns out that the cool force the electrostatic force and the magnetic force are actually the same thing viewed in different frames of references so I won't go into a lot of detail but just keep that in the back of your mind that they are connected in a future video I'll go more into the intuition of how they are connected and it deals with when what it's more apparent when they're moving when the charges are moving at relativistic frames and you have well I will go to a lot of detail there but just keep in mind that they really are the same force just viewed from different frames of reference now the strongest of the force is probably the best name of them all and that's the strong force that is the strong force the strong force and although you probably haven't seen this yet in our in chemistry classes it actually applies very strongly in chemistry because from the get-go when you first learn when you first learn about atoms let me draw a helium atom a helium atom has two protons and it's nucleus two protons in its nucleus and it has two neutrons and then it also has two electrons circulating around so it has an electron and I can draw the electrons is much smaller than well I won't I won't try to do anything in relative size but it has two electrons floating around and one question that may or may not have jumped into your mind when you first saw this model of an atom is like well I see why the electrons are attracted to the nucleus it has a negative Coulomb charge the nucleus has a net positive Coulomb charge but what's not so obvious and that what tends not to sometimes be explained in chemistry class is these two positive charges are sitting right next to each other if the electromagnetic force was the only force in play if the Coulomb force was the only thing happening these guys would just run away from each other they would repel each other and so the only reason why they're able to stick to each other is that there's an even stronger force than the electromagnetic force operating at these very very very small distances so if you get two of these protons close enough together and the strong force only applies over very very very small distances subatomic I should even say sub nucleic distances then the strong interaction comes into play so then you have the strong interaction actually keeping these charges together and once again just to keep it in in in mind relative to gravity it is 10 to the 38th 10 38 times the strength times the strength of gravity or it's about a hundred times stronger than the electromagnetic force so once again the reason why you don't see the strong force which is the strongest of all of the forces or the weak interaction applying over huge scales is that they really only they only their strength dies off super super fast even when you start going to large radius nucleuses of atoms they strength starts to die off especially for the strong force the reason why you don't see the electromagnetic force operating over large distances even though in theory it can like gravity is that you don't see the type of charge concentrations the way you see mass concentrations in the universe because the charge concentrations tend to sort them out they start to equalize if I have if I have some if I have some positive a huge positive charge there and a huge negative charge there they will attract each other and then become essentially a big lump of neutral charge and once they're a big lump of neutral charge they won't they won't interact with anything else in gravity if you have one mass and another mass and they attract each other then you have another mass that's even better to attracting each other at other masses and so it'll keep attracting things to it so it kind of snowballs the process and that's why gravity can operates on these really really large large objects in our universe in the universe as a whole