By Gian Francesco Giudice
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Extra info for A Zeptospace Odyssey, A Journey Into The Physics Of The LHC
A computer network system has been set up to facilitate communication between offices. This network system is a global entity covering the whole world. However, the actual communication occurs through single email messages sent from one office to another. Many email messages are continuously exchanged through the network system. So the global activity of the company is ultimately determined by individual email messages, though in very large numbers. In this metaphor the branch offices are the various electric charges distributed in space, and the computer network is the electromagnetic field, superintending the behaviour of the system and communicating the force.
Calm is restored, but not for long. New accusations fly, these turn to insults, and finally the game becomes more violent. Leaving snowballs aside, the two brothers hurl against each other some sandbags that were found nearby. The sandbags, much heavier than snowballs, cannot be thrown very far. The repulsive force exerted by the sandbags hitting the mischievous boys is very effective, but it acts only at relatively small distances. The heavier the exchanged object, the shorter is the range of the force.
Instead, the weak force has the property of transforming particles. In the process of exerting a weak force, the particle itself gets transformed. In particular, in beta radioactivity, a neutron that emits an electron–neutrino pair changes its identity and becomes a different particle – a proton. The second difference lies in the range at which the force can act. An electric charge exerts a force even at very large distances, and that is why electromagnetism can produce macroscopic phenomena in our world.
A Zeptospace Odyssey, A Journey Into The Physics Of The LHC by Gian Francesco Giudice