Electrostrong Force

  • Thread starter Usaf Moji
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  • #1
I understand that the scientific community now accepts the unification of electromagnetism and the weak force.

Wikipedia explains that there has been some progress towards unifying this "electroweak" force with the strong force (into the "electrostrong" force) but that this is still a work in progress (search "Unified Field Theory" in Wikipedia). Is this still a work in progress, or have physicsts now accepted the electrostrong force (in the same sense as they currently "accept" that electricity and magnetism are one force)?

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  • #2
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That would be what's called a GUT, or Grand Unification Theory. Still a work in progress, there's no consensus on the details of how such a theory would work, you can see a somewhat technical discussion of ideas involving various possible new symmetry groups http://www.math.niu.edu/~rusin/known-math/98/GUTs [Broken]:
The Standard Model is full of tantalizing patterns, but annoyingly complicated. The idea of grand unified theories is to find a pattern lurking in all this data by fitting the group SU(3) x SU(2) x U(1) into a larger group. The smallest-dimensional "simple" Lie group that works is SU(5). Here "simple" is a technical term that eliminates, for example, groups that are products of other groups - these aren't very "unified". Georgi and Glashow came up with their "minimal" SU(5) grand unified theory in 1975. The idea is to stick SU(3) x SU(2) into SU(5) in the obvious diagonal way, leaving just enough room to cram in the U(1) if you are clever.
Unfortunately I think the energies where electroweak and strong are thought to unite are too high to probe experimentally, although GUTs might have some other testable consequences like proton decay.
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  • #3
Thanks JesseM!