Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

At how many femtometers does strong force cease to exist?

  1. Jun 12, 2012 #1
    At 2.5 femtometer away from a quark the strong force is said to significantly loose power and become insignificant. At how many femtometers does the strong force completely loose any amount of tug?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 12, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    As usual, there is no single point where it gets exactly 0. But the force is decreasing so quickly that it gets completely irrelevant (and small compared to the electromagnetic force, for example) just some femtometers away.
  4. Jun 12, 2012 #3
    Ok. Is their any known way to find out the rate in which the force drops off? I.e. an equation of some sort?
  5. Jun 12, 2012 #4
    Someone may correct me on this, but I think for long distances it should fall off roughly like exp(-r/r0)/r, where r0 is the Compton wavelength of the pion, which is about 1.5 femtometers.
  6. Jun 12, 2012 #5
    @The_Duck I looked that up to find out what it ment and google didn't return anything.
  7. Jun 12, 2012 #6
    In case the problem is notation, it means that at a distance r the strength of the strong force should be proportional to the function


    where r0 is 1.5 femtometers. Here's a plot of this behavior: http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=plot+exp(-r/1.5)/r,+r=0..10
    In the plot, the x axis is the distance in femtometers and the y axis is proportional to the strength of the strong force
  8. Jun 12, 2012 #7
    Ahh thanks a lot. In the graph the x axis is length in femtometers and would Y be the strength? I'm pretty sure I get it I just want to be sure
  9. Jun 12, 2012 #8
    Yes. Just keep in mind that the numbers on the y axis don't mean anything; it's the shape of the graph that is meaningful.
  10. Jun 12, 2012 #9
    You have rightfully earned the title the duck. Thank you
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook