Four Forces of Nature Nurturing our Life & Living
Life is a product of forces.
It sounds intriguing but such is the power of different forces that these empower us in living our life.
We take forces out of life and we are dead.
Forces are synonymous with life itself.
Life is growth.
The growth happens through the multiple interactions between diverse forces.
We are born when force acts to push us out of our mother’s womb. It is a painful force. We see life literally out there coming in the hands of doctor. It takes little time as we start to learn crawling but we learn to defy gravity and stand on our feet.
We stand up.
As we progress in our movement we jump with joy. The walking we do is an act of the force on us. It is the fundamental force of gravity which universal in nature keeps the world of cosmos in place. The perspective we derive is entirely cosmic in nature. It is sheer magic to visualize the power of gravitational forces that keeps the galaxy of planets in its orbit and the way earth and sun remain in their position. Just take the gravitational force out of our way and we are off the ground, and we start floating. This is the case when we land on Moon. The force of gravity acts differently on us when we are on Earth and when we are on Moon. The perspective of life shifts its plank and the way we live our life fundamentally changes. Living on Moon cannot be the same.
Life is a product of atoms.
The atoms combine to forms molecules then get compounded and the compounds form the body structure that matters to hold us together. These tiny particles are foundation of our life. The bigger question then is what holds these tiny particles known as atom in its place. Unless the atoms are in place and stable, it cannot anchor the existence of life. It is the electromagnetic forces that acts on the electrons and keeps it moving in the orbit of the nucleus of the atom.
The term electromagnetic is a combination of electrical and magnetic forces.
The body of earth is a field of magnetic forces.
Take a magnet and there is a force that acts between two magnets. The magnets have a North Pole and South Pole. We know that the opposite poles attract and the same pole repulse. But why does it do so, the question remains and it can turn bit philosophical if we dive deeper. We are engulfed in the web of electronic gadgets. The pull and push of magnets works out in many devices we use in our daily life. The life we live on a daily basis is powered by the forces of magnetic fields. There is a fascinating interplay of forces between the magnetic fields and the electric fields.
The energy of life comes from these four forces.
As energy and matter are two sides of the same coin, just flipping the coin in the air, we can see the same thing in a different perspective. Energy changes from one form to another when the matter changes it position from one state to another. The change of state from a liquid state to a gaseous state, the water as steam powers the turbine. Since energy cannot be created and destroyed, we only observe the phenomenon that is nothing but a form of transformation.
Production of energy is merely a transformation process.
It gets converted from one form of energy to another or from one state of matter to another when forces are applied on the matter. The forces act on the specific property of an object. For instance gravitational forces act on the mass of an object, and magnetic forces acts on the electric charges of an object. In words if an object doesn’t have mass or electric charges these forces have no impact on those objects?
Gravitational forces are interplay between masses of two objects.
Electromagnetic forces are interplay between charges between two objects.
There are different forces of nature that acts differently on us. The solar energy, the wind energy, the tidal energy and the nuclear energy are constantly in play. The sun empowers the earth through the forces of solar energy. The nuclear forces act as the source of energy to hold the protons and neutrons in its place in the nucleus of atoms. The two hidden forces are binding the threads of life. The atom builds the body and the sun nurtures the body into action. The motion of body is the play gravity does on us. Gravity seems to be the magical source of life on this planet. The planet is in existence because of the forces of gravity are in perfect play with the celestial bodies in the universe. Gravity continues to be the most important force as life wouldn’t have been possible with the empowerment of gravity.
Everything and everywhere there is an act of gravity.
Take gravity out of our galaxy and the world comes to an end. Our galaxy will instantly dismantle into the infinite space of cosmos.
All are motions from walking to swimming to running to jumping to diving to floating to flying are our action against the forces of gravity. The way we maneuver our body and navigate our way sets the action in motion. The body is compact source of energy that acts against these forces to do its activities. A child has a bundle of energy that acts swiftly against these forces of gravity to display gravity defying acts where as an aged body is deprived of that energy that holds the bones and muscles with authority. The molecular cells comprising of millions of atoms in our body losses the vice like grip and we don’t have the forces to bind the body structure.
Nuclear forces are the most powerful forces in existence.
These are the forces that hold the nucleus of the atom intact. The force acts between the protons and neutrons, between protons and protons, and between neutrons and neutrons. The best way appreciate the power of these forces to compare it. There is this chemical force that binds the atoms into molecules and the molecules combine to form the compounds that matters to make our body get its structure. The power of nuclear forces with the nucleus of the atom is ten million times stronger than the chemical forces between the atoms in a molecule. When these forces are in action at the atomic level in a nuclear reactor we can experience the gigantic magnitude of these forces as the energy released per unit of nuclear fuel is million times higher than the energy that gets released per unit of the fossil fuel…the chemical forces.
It is only when we apply motion to a mass we get the force. It has been captured in mathematical equation. The mighty equation (f=m*a) is Newton’s second law of motion.
Every motion in our life is related to an act of force.
Everything around us has mass. And mass is nothing but a concentrated form of energy. It is only when speed of light is applied in squared term on the little body of mass that mass transform back into energy. This magical act cannot be done in a natural environment, hence it is scientifically engineered in a special environment and that is the nuclear reactor where the nuclear fission takes place. It is always easy to covert energy into mass but converting mass back into energy is a herculean task.
And the famous equation (e=mc^2) of Einstein has established that the very factor of the nuclear forces acting on mass and energy. Nothing can beat the speed of light and here we are applying that ultimate power of forces to extract a junk of energy disguised in the form a mass.
The nuclear forces get divided based on the intensity of the forces and are known as the strong and weak forces. The weak nuclear forces are the interactions at the sub-atomic levels causing the radioactive decay. During beta decay a neutron disappears and is replaced a proton, an electron and a neutrino. Both these nuclear forces have a carrier. The strong forces are carried by gluons. The weak forces are carried by bosons. So are the scenes with gravitational and electromagnetic forces. In case of gravity it is the graviton and for electromagnetic it is the photons.
There is an inherent paradox.
Though gravitational forces are the sources of life but are inherently the weakest in the chain and nuclear remains the strongest. Gravity is there and we work within it purview and it works on us every time and everywhere. On other hand nuclear force is working at the atomic level and working at that level is quite challenging and not easily accessible. Take the case of hydro power planets where we use the gravitational forces to derive the energy from the falling water. It is visible and it is a simple process. It is the conversation of hydel energy into electricity…a force that powers every device and literally makes night turn day. Take the case of nuclear power planets where we use the nuclear forces to extract the energy from the nuclear reaction.
It is another of conversion of the atomic energy into electricity.
A nuclear reactor produces and controls the release of energy by splitting the atoms of uranium. The splitting results in huge production of heat. The heat is used to covert the water into steam and the steam runs the turbine to generate the electricity. In essence it is about obtaining heat energy through the process of nuclear fission of atoms. Both nuclear fission and fusion produces energy but the fundamental difference lies is in the application. Fission is used in the nuclear reactor as it can be controlled whereas fusion is yet to be used as the reaction as it is not fully under control.
The ultimate source of power that comes from sun is a product of nuclear fusion.
There are these fundamental four forces of nature that have their relative strength and range of impact;
Gravitational Force – Weakest force but Infinite range
Electromagnetic Force – Stronger with Infinite range
Weak Nuclear Force – Weaker but Short range
Strong Nuclear Force – Strongest force but Short range
Life learns to discover it own space and astutely plays out its game of life in the field of forces. The strong forces hold the nucleus of an atom, the electromagnetic forces holds the atoms and the gravitational forces hold us on planet earth. Just take the smallest act of waking up in the morning. We need to apply a bit of physical force and a good amount of mental force to break our bondage with slumber and slip out of our cozy cot. Reluctantly brushing our teeth to resisting pouring water on our body every act of our needs force to get the work done.
Life is a journey.
We have to work our way.
The working needs the power of these invisible forces.
We become conditioned to the act of forces in doing the routines of life.
The forces keep doing their silent job behind the scene and we become mere actors taking these forces for granted. It was an attempt to provide a quick glimpse of the profound power of these forces and the defining part these invisible forces play in making us live our life.
Nihar R Pradhan
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