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Electromagnetic and strong force

  1. Feb 19, 2012 #1
    I have heard that the strong nuclear force is stronger then the electromagnetic force at short ranges, "Up to two and a half times the proton diameter". Ok, so i have an approximation of the length it dominates over the electromagnetic force, but i don't know where the force starts from; is it at the center of the proton, or is it from the edge? And why does my source say "up to" and not exactly? Why is this length only an approximation??

    source: look at 0:50
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 19, 2012 #2
    Protons and neutrons are made of quarks, which are point particles. The strong force is a force between quarks.
  4. Feb 19, 2012 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    The "strong force" between nucleons (protons and neutrons) is a sort of "residual effect" from the interactions among the quarks that they're composed of. It's analogous to the van der Waals force between atoms and molecules, which is a residual effect of the electromagnetic forces among the nuciel and electrons that they're composed of.
  5. Feb 20, 2012 #4
    What does residual mean?
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