Cloud formation at peak shortly before the rapid disintegration of the mushroom shape, and as column of water starts to fall. Photo credit: National Archives

The Fundamental Forces God Uses to Hold the Universe Together

by / April 22, 2020

“And God said, ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light.”

If “And God says” in Genesis One is more than a metaphor, what is the message of the Creator found in the Fundamental Four Forces of Physics?

Gravity and Electromagnetism

These are both long range forces prevalent everywhere. Gravity is something we feel everyday because we are small bodies living on the surface of a huge planet. And, although the force of gravity decreases exponentially with distance, it is still powerful enough to hold the moon and every other satellite in orbit.

At the same time the force of gravity is actually the weakest of the fundamental forces. For example, all of us have experienced the power of electromagnetism. This is how you can get a balloon, or even your hair, to resist gravity to ‘float.’ And this same attracting/repelling force works in atoms as well: holding the electrons in place around the nucleus so they neither collapse nor explode.

Electromagnetism, like gravity, acts everywhere and its strength also shrinks with distance. It is responsible for holding an atom together as well as the chemical bonds between molecules that make up everything that exists anywhere.

It is incredibly strong. Without it, matter as we know it wouldn’t exist.

Subatomic Forces

Atoms themselves are made of smaller particles and the remaining two forces work at this subatomic level, which we never directly feel.

The strong force holds the nucleus of an atom together.

When physicists get inside the nucleus of atoms to discover what the neutrons and protons themselves are made of, they find something named “quarks” that are themselves made up of particles—all held together by the strong force. At the nuclear level this binding force is greater than the three other fundamental forces. That is why it is called the “Strong Force.”

Calling it the Weak Force is misleading

It is just orders of magnitude smaller than the Strong Force and Electromagnetic forces. But as we will see the ‘weak’ force is incredibly powerful.

This force brings about changes in the nucleus responsible for beta decay radioactivity. Like the strong force, it is only powerful at a subatomic scale. While the other three forces function in particle physics to hold things together. The weak force interacts to make things fall apart, or decay.

Neutron and protons are made up of smaller particles called “quarks.” A neutron has two “down” quarks and one “up” quark bound together, while an proton consists of one down quark and two up quarks bound together. When a neutrino (a particle so small it’s hard to even study it) comes within the range of a neutron, the weak force causes it to change one down quark to an up quark, transforming it into a proton, creating an extra electron, plus a neutrino.

The same thing can happen with a proton, this time the weak force causing it to change into an electron and also emit a positron and neutrino.

In both cases the electron or positron that is ejected goes flying out, which is described as radioactivity.

A bit of History on the Subatomic Forces

There is great energy confined in the tiny atom. Just ask the survivors of Hiroshima, where the first atomic bomb wiped out a city.

Albert Einstein said that if you could split apart atoms , the energy released by the fission reaction would follow the formula, E=mc² (Energy released equals the mass times the speed of light squared).  In 1939, he wrote a letter to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on this, resulting in the Manhattan Project for the development of the atomic bomb.

Einstein’s letter stated his fears that Nazi Germany with Hitler, would take the research of E. Fermi in Italy, L. Szilard in Germany, and  J-F. Joliet in France to attempt to make a chain reaction from nuclear fission possible.

“A single bomb of this type, carried by boat and exploded in a port, might very well destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory,” Einstein wrote to President Roosevelt. He was concerned that massive nuclear chain reaction involving uranium could lead to an extremely “powerful bombs of a new type”—atomic bombs.

Just  “one kilogram of  the uranium underwent fission, and only seven hundred milligrams of mass—the weight of a butterfly—was converted into energy” at Hiroshima. Seventy-eight thousand people were killed instantly in that atomic bomb explosion that brought an end to the U.S. war with Japan.²

But what if We Could Harness this Energy?

If humans can find a way to harness the energy in the atom and transfer it to make electricity, that would be useful rather than destructive. This is what nuclear power plants do.

Nuclear power plants use energy in atomic nuclear radiation to heat water into steam in order to turn generators to make electricity. It’s a beautiful, clean form of fuel producing vast amounts of energy compared to the required fuel volume.

The only problem is that the used fuel rods are still radioactively dangerous, though too “spent.” to produce useful energy. The courts have determined that spent fuel (nuclear waste) from nuclear power plants is dangerous to humanity for a million years.¹  The components of nuclear waste have radiation half-lives ranging from thousands of years to about seventeen million years.

Nuclear waste staggers the mind when it comes to time.

Trying to keep nuclear waste safe for a million years leaves then nations around the world who rely on nuclear power plants for electricity to resign themselves. At this time, scientists do not know how to safely neutralize, or even permanently contain this dangerous material.

They have tried putting nuclear waste in underground granite, clay, and salt mines.  They have conjectured about putting it in deep, trenches under the sea or even shooting it into space, but these methods have been rejected.

The strategy thus far has been to leave it underground and hope a future generation of scientists will come up with a solution to the long-term danger.  But they recognize the danger it will still pose to future populations.

Yucca Mountain in Nevada is the planned repository for nuclear waste in the United States, but at present there aren’t designated funds to prepare the deep depository or transfer the existing materials there. For the present, spent fuel is kept at 102 nuclear power plants around the nation.

The message of creation from the natural, time problem of nuclear waste, to this author, is nuclear waste and their long half-lives are markers of His eternal self.  These defy time, and are natural markers of God’s eternal nature.

Is There a Creator Message in These Fundamental Forces?

Now, what is the God of creation, saying about the great energy compacted in the atom, or gravity, or electromagnetism, or the strong force, or the weak force?

The message of creation from atoms and the Four Forces which hold the universe together. is that they are part of creation, the language of God, as testaments of the Creator God’s omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence.

Footnotes

  1. Code of Federal Regulations 40, part 197
  2. Higginbotham, Adam, Midnight in Chernobyl, Simon & Schuster, New York, N.Y., 2019. page 26
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Dennis Price

Dennis Price

Dennis L. Price, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech where he had served as Director of the Human Factors Engineering Center. He has received numerous rewards for his skill in teaching and research, and was appointed by the US President to the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board traveling the world to visit nuclear waste programs and facilities. Dr. Price is an ordained clergyman and the founding pastor of a church in La Mirada, California. He was the co-author of a widely used college textbook, Occupational Safety Management and Engineering, as well as several other books and hundreds of technical articles.
Dennis Price

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One Comment

  1. The God Who spoke in creation and shaped the forces of physics still speaks. As Hebrews 1:1-3 expresses it: “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.” Jesus, the Son, is the One Who is preventing the unraveling of these cohesive forces, thus holding everything together. I can trust Him with my concerns, failures and problems, including the COVID-19 pandemic. He holds His beloved children close to Himself. There we are secure, safe and comforted.

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