4.4 Nuclear Forces
4.5 Weak forces
4.6 Scope of Classical physics
Points to be Noted
The alpha particle is a bare nucleus of Helium. It contains two protons and two neutrons. It is a stable object and once created it can remain intact until it is not made to interact with other objects.
The protons in the nucleus will repel each other due to coulomb force and try to break the nucleus. Why does the Coulomb force fail to break the nucleus?
There are forces called nuclear forces and they are exerted only if the interacting particles are protons or neutrons or both. They are largely attractive, but with a short range. They are weaker than the Coulomb force if the separation between particles is more than 10^-14 m. For separation smaller than this the nuclear force is stronger than the Coulomb force and it holds the nucleus stable.
Radioactivity, nuclear energy (fission, fusion) etc. result from nuclear force.
A neutron can change into proton and simultaneously emit an electron and a particle called antinutrino.
A proton can also change into neutron and simultaneously emit a positron (and a neutrino). The forces responsible for these changes are called weak forces. The effect of this force is experienced inside protons and neutrons only.
Scope of classical physics
Physics based on Newton's Laws of motion, Newton's law of gravitation, Maxwell's electromagnetism, laws of thermodynamics and the Lorentz force is called classical physics. The behaviour of all the bodies of linear sizes greater than 10^-6 m are adequately described by classical physics. Grains of sands and rain drops fall into this range as well as heavenly bodies.
But sub atomic particles like atoms, nuclei, and electrons have sizes smaller than 10^-6 m and they are explained by quantum physics.
The mechanics of particles moving at velocity equal to light are explained by relativistic mechanics formulated by Einstein in 1905.