What analogies could be used to describe the Strong Force and Weak Force?

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What analogies could be used to describe the Strong Force and Weak Force?

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Anonymous 0 Comments

There really aren’t any. They’re pretty unintuitive.

Think about how electromagnetism has two charges, positive and negative, and opposites attract. The strong force is like that, except there are six charges – three “normal” charges and three “anti” charges.

The analogy that scientists use is with visible color. Red, green, and blue light appears white to us. The three charges in the strong force add up to “white” and there’s red charge, green charge, and blue charge (and the anti of those). It has nothing to do with visible color, to be clear. But the strong force always always always comes with a neutral “white” charge, either with three colors, three anti-colors, a color and its anti-color, or a combination of three colors and a color-anticolor pair.

To make it a bit more confusing, the particle that carries color charge – the gluon – can’t travel outside of the particle. Protons and neutrons (which are made of three colors) trade smaller mesons (made of a color and anticolor) between them, abs the color charges from the mesons is what holds atoms together.

The weak force is even weirder. It can change what kind of particle another particle is, like changing the quarks inside of a proton into a different kinds of quark, which turns the proton into a neutron. I can’t think of any analogy. It’s just weird and I don’t understand how it works.

[Relevant XKCD](https://xkcd.com/1489/)