This was the year that analysis of data finally backed up a prediction, made in the mid 1970s, of a surprising emergent behaviour in the strong nuclear force. The strongest of the known fundamental forces of nature is something of an enigma. It holds together the nucleus of every atom – easily overcoming the electromagnetic repulsion between the positively-charged protons in there. The simplest atomic nucleus, that of hydrogen, is a single proton, but even that is held in one piece by the strong force, so tightly that it never falls apart – or at least, it lives billions of times longer than the current age of the observable universe. Truly, strong and stable.
Guardian 28th Dec 2017 read more »