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I So is all energy a function of one of the 4 forces?

  1. Aug 17, 2016 #1
    Just wondering about energy. I find energy and fields the 2 most fascinating parts of physics. Since potential and kinetic energy are functions of gravity (and perhaps other forces I hadn't considered); are all types of energy functions of a force? Or are there also exceptions? Or unknowns? Greatly appreciate some of your usual fine input plus as many pertinent links you have to share.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2016 #2


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    Gold Member

    There is a difference in lingo used between high energy theory and forces in classical mechanics. As far as I'm aware, the "four fundamental forces" refer to the known forces which are believed to be mediated by bosons. In contrast, there are forces in nature which have nothing to do with bosons. Like the exchange interaction, a force which arises when you try to push electrons (or other fermions) into the same state, which would violate the Pauli exclusion principle. Griffiths mentions in passing that there is such a force in solids on page 223 of the 2nd edition of his quantum mechanics text. I believe it is the main mechanism responsible for contact forces, but I don't currently have a source to back me up on that.

    Another exception could be rest energy. As far as I know, none of the four fundamental forces are responsible for the energy stored in an object's rest mass.
  4. Aug 18, 2016 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    Most of the rest mass of ordinary objects is due to the strong force.

    Since the OP is having access issues, we will close this thread for now. If you are curious, you might want to open your own thread.
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