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Superforce, where did they go?

  1. Oct 4, 2008 #1
    Hello all,

    This is only my second post here and I would like to apologize in case what I am asking has already been discussed. I have searched and could not find what I was looking for. If this is the case and you can direct me to the previous thread, that would be great. Here goes.

    I have heard discussions on the Superforce of the early Universe and also that once gravity split from the Superforce, this was when inflation occurred. My question is pertaining to the forces themselves. When they "split apart", where exactly did they go?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 5, 2008 #2
    They didn't go anywhere. They are all alive and well as the four fundamental interactions: gravitational, electromagnetic, strong, and weak.
     
  4. Oct 5, 2008 #3
    I think maybe I did a poor job explaining what my actual question was since I do understand and realize the four forces are still in existence today. Let me try this another way.

    In the beginning there was a Superforce. At one point gravity "split" from the other forces and became an independent force. What exactly was the "split", how can two different forces split apart from one another? Aside from that when gravity did split apart from the other forces what happened to it exactly? Did it spread itself uniformly throughout the existing Universe at that time and embed itself into the spacetime fabric as a property of spacetime? Also when the other forces later split, what did they do? Did they also spread themselves out uniformly and also become embedded as properties of space time? I guess I have a hard time imagining how exactly a force can "split" from another force and then what it would "do" after it "split".
     
  5. Oct 8, 2008 #4
    Anyone understand what I am trying to ask or is my question really that bad?
     
  6. Oct 8, 2008 #5
    I think the question is legitimate. Perhaps the approach to use here is the geometric one. So when the universe was very young, the same force that gave the universe it's geometry governed the intense short range interactions between particles. As the energy potential decreased as the universe cooled, the various forces between particles decoupled from that of gravity which governed the overall shape of space time.
     
  7. Oct 9, 2008 #6
    Our understanding of the four fundamental forces is through mathematics. The effect of gravity, electromagnetism (EM), the weak and strong forces can be expressed with equations. Each force has a separate set of equations that uniquely explains that force. At the energy level of the universe an instant after the Big Bang, all the equations run together. Gravity’s effect is the same as EM or the two nuclear forces. Thus the forces are said to have combined into one “Superforce”.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/apr/26/universe.physics
    Simplistically, as the universe inflated, the Superforce inflated with it, i.e., the Superforce did not lose density, it increased everywhere with the volume. So when separation occurred, the four fundamental forces were also present throughout the universe. Think of space-time as an energy field affected by these forces.
     
  8. Oct 9, 2008 #7
    Thanks for all of the input, I believe I understand now.

    During the early Universe, the combination of everything being so close together as well as the temperatures being so hot allowed for the four forces to work together in Unison. Also since gravity normally works on the large scale and not the small scale, we know that as the temperatures decreased, gravity would be the first force to no longer work in unison with the other 3 forces.
     
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