The strong interaction or color force is one of the four fundamental forces of nature, which is responsible for the nuclear force. The strong interaction is what holds the quarks together to make up a hadron like protons and neutrons, with the force mediated by the exchange of gluons. The strong interaction is very strong at short ranges. The strong interaction happening inside hadrons, therefore, has a residual force inside the atomic nucleus, that is strong enough to hold these nucleons together. This residual force is usually referred to as the nuclear force. The strong interaction that holds the quarks together is also known as the color force.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is color force the fundamental force of nature?
Yes, color force is the fundamental force of nature. The term 'strong force' was first used by physicists to denote the force that held the nucleons together. After the standard model and the discovery of quarks, the terms like 'strong force' and 'strong interaction' are used to denote the color force that holds the quarks together. To mean the forces that hold the nucleons together, the term 'strong nuclear force' and simply 'nuclear force' are generally used to avoid confusion.