Strong nuclear force

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The strong nuclear force is one of four fundamental forces that causes particles to interact. This force is responsible for ensuring that nucleons (protons and neutrons) stay together within in the nucleus and prevents the atoms from falling apart due to electromagntic repulsion between protons. The exchange particle for this force is known as a gluon, which by name, attempts to hold the particles together[1]. The force has a range between 1 fm and 3 fm, as shown by this graph.

This force only affects quarks, which make up a type of particle called hadrons[2]. Baryons are a type of hadron and nucleons come under this group of particles.


  1. J.Lucas, 'What is the Strong Force?', Live Science, 1/11/14,
  2. 'Hadrons, Baryons and Mesons', The Particle Adventure, (no date),

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