Friday Physics #3 - V-Day for Nerds Edition

Bonus Valentine's Day quasi-sarcastic nerd thing below (I didn't feel like it deserved its own post).

As always, ask me anything physics-y and I'll get back to you when I wake up from my post-class nap. :)

Which Fundamental Force Represents Your Relationship?

Electromagnetic Force

The Physics: attraction and repulsion of charged particles. A positive and a negative particle attract each other, but two positives or two negatives will repel. This force is responsible for pretty much all tactile sensation that you have (the electrons in your fingers repel the electrons in the keyboard, ditto for your butt on your chair). This means that on a molecular scale that you never actually touch anything, including the ground.

Your Relationship: Opposites Attract. You feel like you're walking on air, but be careful — you might not really connect.

Strong Force

The Physics: the strongest of all forces (100 times stronger than EM force), it keeps the protons together in the nucleus (remember from above that protons don't like each other). Operates only at VERY close range. This force is why fusion is possible.

Your Relationship: The sex is great, but you pretend you don't even know each other outside your apartment.

Weak Force

The Physics: the force responsible for radioactive decay. It allows one kind of particle to change into a different kind (for example, a neutron decaying into a proton and an electron). Much weaker than the others (10,000 times weaker than the EM force), but still stronger than gravity.

Your Relationship: Decaying. You don't even know who your partner is anymore, they're changing too much.


The Physics: keeps the universe together, but is so weak that it can be overcome by practically anything. Pick up a paperclip with a refrigerator magnet. That magnet just beat out the entire gravitational pull of the EARTH. The bigger the masses, the bigger the attraction. 10^37 (1 with 37 zeros after it) times weaker than the EM force.

Your Relationship: You orbit around each other without urgency. The relationship gets better when you stop going to the gym.