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## Main Question or Discussion Point

Hi,

The mass of a bound system of quarks (e.g. proton) is larger than the mass of its constituents. You could say this is because the mass of the system corresponds to the energy in the color field, which is larger when the quarks are closer (even if the force is weaker then).

For a bound system of electric charges (e.g. H atom), it is the opposite: mass of bound system is smaller than mass of its constituents. I understand this is because the electric force

Now, we would expect a bound system of nucleons (e.g. deuteron) to have a behaviour similar to that of a system of quarks, since the strong force (force between nucleons) is just a

Does that mean that the strong force decreases with distance? If this is so, how can you get that from a force (color) that increases with distance?

Thank you

The mass of a bound system of quarks (e.g. proton) is larger than the mass of its constituents. You could say this is because the mass of the system corresponds to the energy in the color field, which is larger when the quarks are closer (even if the force is weaker then).

For a bound system of electric charges (e.g. H atom), it is the opposite: mass of bound system is smaller than mass of its constituents. I understand this is because the electric force

*decreases*with distance, while the color force*increases*with distance.Now, we would expect a bound system of nucleons (e.g. deuteron) to have a behaviour similar to that of a system of quarks, since the strong force (force between nucleons) is just a

*residual*color force. But this is not the case: the deuteron's mass is less than the mass of its constituents.Does that mean that the strong force decreases with distance? If this is so, how can you get that from a force (color) that increases with distance?

Thank you