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Question
(a) Find the ratio of the strengths of the weak and electromagnetic forces under ordinary circumstances. (b) What does that ratio become under circumstances in which the forces are unified?
Question by OpenStax is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
  1. $10^{-11}$
  2. $1$
Solution Video

OpenStax College Physics for AP® Courses Solution, Chapter 33, Problem 4 (Problems & Exercises) (0:57)

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Video Transcript
This is College Physics Answers with Shaun Dychko. In part (a), we find the ratio of the weak force to the electromagnetic force and table [33.1] tells us that the approximate strength of the weak force is 10 to the minus 13 whereas the electromagnetic force is 10 to the minus 2 where these are all in relation to the strong force, which is 1. So we can divide these two 10 to the minus 13 divided by 10 to the minus 2 and that's 10 to the minus 11. So the weak force is weaker than the electromagnetic force by a factor of 10 to the minus 11. In part (b) when the forces are unified, that is to say that they are all manifestations of one supposed underlying force in which case, they are all the same, they are all one thing and so that means the ratio would just be 1.