MadSci Network: Physics

Re: How are forces like gravity or magnetizm transmitted through space

Date: Wed Oct 27 09:50:34 1999
Posted By: Yaxun Liu, Grad student, Electrical Engineering, National University of Singapore
Area of science: Physics
ID: 940673603.Ph

Frankly, I hesitate in answering this question because it is
a fundamental question and its answering needs knowledge of 
quantum physics, which I am not familiar with. Therefore,
I can only give some general idea. Hope that may help.

According to the Standard Model (the theory currently accepted by 
most physicists), there are four fundamental forces and there are 
force carrier particles associated with each force. 

Gravity is one of the four fundamental forces and its force carrier 
particle is called graviton. The properties of graviton have been 
predicted by the theory but it has not been observed until now.

Magnetic force, or Lorentz force, is the force exerted on moving 
charged particles in magnetic field. It can not be isolated from 
electric force exerted on charged particles in electric field. 
According to special relativity they can transform into each other 
in different reference frames. Therefore it is more suitable to 
regard it as part of an integrate electromagnetic force, which is 
also one of the four fundamental forces and its force carrier 
particle is photon.

There is a very good page answering your questions:

The Particle Adventure. 
Please see "The Standard Model/What Holds It Together" part.

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