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Quantum field theories

Three different quantum field theories deal with three of the four fundamental forces by which matter interacts:

  • Electromagnetism: It explains how atoms hold together.
  • The strong nuclear force: It describes the stability of the nucleus at the centre of the atom.
  • The weak nuclear force: It explains why some atoms undergo radioactive decay.

The three theories are known as the "standard model" of particle physics.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

Quantum mechanics explains the basic mathematical framework that supports it all.

Quantum particles can act as particles located in a single place, or they can act as waves that are distributed all over space or in several places at once.

  • A fourth fundamental force of nature that quantum theory cannot explain, namely gravity, doesn't even involve particles. None of the decades of effort can bring gravity under the quantum umbrella to explain all of fundamental physics within one "theory of everything."
  • ...

Quantum physics is the field of physics that explains how everything works.

Understanding how electrons move or not through a solid material and so make a material a metal, an insulator or a semiconductor, for example, requires the development of "effective field theories" that don't go into all the details.

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