Answer 1:
Yes, it is correct to say that gravity is
the weakest force, because it's the weakest per
unit amount of stuff. For instance, if you had
two protons near each other the electromagnetic
repulsion would be 36 powers of ten stronger than
the gravitational force (36 powers of ten is 1
followed by 36 zeros). This is an enormous
difference which is why gravity is considered the
weakest force.
An important thing to remember about
electromagnetism is that it can be attractive
or repulsive whereas gravity can just be
attractive. In most matter, the attractive and
repulsive tendencies are exactly balanced so that
you don't even notice the electromagnetic force.
But lets say that there were 2 people standing
next to each other and they each had 1% more
electrons than protons; the repelling force would
be so great that it could lift the entire Earth!
So essentially the electromagnetic force of a 1%
imbalance in charge of a person creates as large a
force as a planet does through the gravitational
force.
Another important consideration is that since
the gravitational force is only attractive, it
gets more powerful as objects get larger, but even
in these larger objects if the electric charge is
balanced out you won't have a stronger
electromagnetic force.
So at the scale of planets, stars, galaxies,
and black holes, gravity is clearly the most
important, but that's only because there is an
enormous amount of mass. Basically, the weakest
force multiplied by an enormous number (the mass
of a star) is very large, but at the same time the
fundamental force is considered weak because it is
so weak per unit mass.
Click Here to return to the search form.
