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Aug 8, 2022

The Strength of the Strong Force — Accounting for 99% of the Ordinary Mass in the Universe

Posted by in category: particle physics

Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory experiments hone in on a never-before-measured region of strong force coupling, a quantity that supports theories accounting for 99% of the ordinary mass in the universe.

Much fanfare was made about the Higgs boson when this elusive particle was discovered in 2012. Although it was touted as giving ordinary matter mass, interactions with the Higgs field only generate about 1% of ordinary mass. The other 99% comes from phenomena associated with the strong nuclear force, the fundamental force that binds smaller particles called quarks into larger particles called protons and neutrons that comprise the nucleus of the atoms of ordinary matter.

The Strong Nuclear Force (often referred to as the strong force) is one of the four basic forces in nature. The others are gravity, the electromagnetic force, and the weak nuclear force. As its name implies, it is the strongest of the four. However, it also has the shortest range, which means that particles must be extremely close before its effects are felt.

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