1.4.3 Strong Nuclear Force
The strong nuclear force binds protons and neutrons in a nucleus. It is evident that without some attractive force, a nucleus will be unstable due to the electric repulsion between its protons. This attractive force cannot be gravitational since force of gravity is negligible compared to the electric force. A new basic force must, therefore, be invoked. The strong nuclear force is the strongest of all fundamental forces, about 100 times the electromagnetic force in strength. It is charge-independent and acts equally between a proton and a proton, a neutron and a neutron, and a proton and a neutron. Its range is. however, extremely small, of about nuclear dimensions (10"l5m). It is responsible for the stability of nuclei. The electron, it must be noted, does not experience this force.