"The strong interaction is observable in two areas: on a larger scale (about 1 to 3 femtometers (fm)), it is the force that binds protons and neutrons (nucleons) together to form the nucleus of an atom. On the smaller scale (less than about 0.8 fm, the radius of a nucleon), it is also the force ... that [forms and holds together] protons, neutrons and other hadron particles."
"In the context of binding protons and neutrons together to form atoms, the strong interaction is called the nuclear force (or residual strong force). [T]he strong interaction ... obeys a quite different distance-dependent behavior between nucleons ... ."
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Behavior of the strong force
"Unlike [the] electromagnetic [and] weak [interactions], the strong force does not diminish in strength with increasing distance. After a limiting distance (about the size of a hadron) has been reached, it remains at a strength of about 10,000 newtons, no matter how much farther the distance between [hadrons]. The ... force between [hadrons] remains constant at any distance after [the hadrons] travel only a tiny distance from each other, and is equal to that need to raise one ton, which is 1000 kg x 9.8 N = ~ 10,000 N."
"[T]he amount of work done against a force of 10,000 newtons (about the weight of a one-metric ton mass on the surface of the Earth) is enough to create particle-antiparticle pairs within a very short distance of an interaction."
"The strong force is ... nearly absent between such hadrons (i.e., between baryons or mesons). In this case, only a residual force (described below) called the residual strong force acts between [these] hadrons, and this residual force diminishes rapidly with distance, and is thus very short-range (effectively a few femtometers)."
Residual strong force
"The residual effect of the strong force is called the nuclear force. The nuclear force acts between hadrons, such as mesons or the nucleons in atomic nuclei. This "residual strong force", acting indirectly, transmits ... pi and rho mesons, which, in turn, transmit the nuclear force between nucleons."
"The residual strong force is thus a minor residuum of the strong force which binds ... together ... protons and neutrons. This same force is much weaker between neutrons and protons, because it is mostly neutralized within them, in the same way that electromagnetic forces between neutral atoms (van der Waals forces) are much weaker than the electromagnetic forces that hold the atoms internally together. Unlike the strong force itself, the nuclear force, or residual strong force, does diminish in strength, and in fact diminishes rapidly with distance. The decrease is approximately as a negative exponential power of distance, though there is no simple expression known for this; see Yukawa potential. This fact, together with the less-rapid decrease of the disruptive electromagnetic force between protons with distance, causes the instability of larger atomic nuclei, such as all those with atomic numbers larger than 82 (the element lead)."
A hadron, like an atomic nucleus, is "a composite particle ... held together by the strong force ... Hadrons are categorized into two families: baryons (such as protons and neutrons[)] ... and mesons".
"A baryon is a composite subatomic particle [bound together by] the strong interaction, whereas leptons [are] not. The most familiar baryons are the protons and neutrons that make up most of the mass of the visible matter in the universe. Electrons (the other major component of the atom) are leptons. Each baryon has a corresponding antiparticle (antibaryon)".
"Baryonic matter is matter composed mostly of baryons (by mass), which includes atoms of any sort (and thus includes nearly all matter that may be encountered or experienced in everyday life)."
A meson is a composite subatomic particle "bound together by the strong interaction."
"Because mesons are composed of sub-particles, they have a physical size, with a radius roughly one femtometre, which is about 2/3 the size of a proton or neutron. All mesons are unstable, with the longest-lived lasting for only a few hundredths of a microsecond. Charged mesons decay (sometimes through intermediate particles) to form electrons and neutrinos. Uncharged mesons may decay to photons."
"Mesons are not produced by radioactive decay, but appear in nature only as short-lived products of very high-energy interactions in matter ... In cosmic ray interactions, for example, such particles are ordinary protons and neutrons. Mesons are also frequently produced artificially in high-energy particle accelerators that collide protons, anti-protons, or other particles."
"In nature, the importance of lighter mesons is that they are the associated quantum-field particles that transmit the nuclear force, in the same way that photons are the particles that transmit the electromagnetic force."
"Each type of meson has a corresponding antiparticle (antimeson) in which quarks are replaced by their corresponding antiquarks and vice-versa."
Mesons are subject to "both the weak and strong interactions. Mesons with net electric charge also participate in the electromagnetic interaction."
"While no meson is stable, those of lower mass are nonetheless more stable than the most massive mesons, and are easier to observe and study in particle accelerators or in cosmic ray experiments. They are also typically less massive than baryons, meaning that they are more easily produced in experiments, and thus exhibit certain higher energy phenomena more readily than baryons composed of the same quarks would."
"Sources of electromagnetic fields consist of two types of charge – positive and negative."
The relative strengths and ranges of the charge interactions:
|Strong interaction||gluon||1038||1||10−15 m|
|Weak interaction||W and Z bosons||1025||1/r5 to 1/r7||10−16 m|
"A stronger attractive force was postulated to explain how the atomic nucleus was bound together despite the protons' mutual electromagnetic repulsion. This hypothesized force was called the strong force, which was believed to be a fundamental force that acted on the nucleons (the protons and neutrons that make up the nucleus). Experiments suggested that this force bound protons and neutrons together with equal strength."
- (May 27, 2012) "Strong interaction". Wikipedia. San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved on 2012-06-30.
- Ginger Lehrman and Ian B Hogue, Sarah Palmer, Cheryl Jennings, Celsa A Spina, Ann Wiegand, Alan L Landay, Robert W Coombs, Douglas D Richman, John W Mellors, John M Coffin, Ronald J Bosch, David M Margolis (August 13, 2005). "Depletion of latent HIV-1 infection in vivo: a proof-of-concept study". Lancet 366 (9485): 549-55. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(05)67098-5. Retrieved on 2012-05-09.
- Fritzsch, op. cite, p. 164.
- (July 11, 2013) "Hadron". Wikipedia. San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
- (May 3, 2013) "Baryon". Wikipedia. San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
- (June 16, 2013) "Meson". Wikipedia. San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
- (July 1, 2013) "Electromagnetic field". Wikipedia. San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
- D.J. Griffiths (1987). Introduction to Elementary Particles. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-60386-4.
- F. Halzen, A.D. Martin (1984). Quarks and Leptons: An Introductory Course in Modern Particle Physics. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-88741-2.
- G.L. Kane (1987). Modern Elementary Particle Physics. Perseus Books. ISBN 0-201-11749-5.
- R. Morris (2003). The Last Sorcerers: The Path from Alchemy to the Periodic Table. Joseph Henry Press. ISBN 0-309-50593-3.
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