I'm trying to develop a story with super-humans where powers are evoked through the person's emotion during the trigger. I would like to give the lead the power over electromagnetism. Now, I was wondering how to include the fundamental forces as powers and their applications. Strong nuclear force being the strongest and gravity being the weakest, I wanted to applications for these forces in correspondence to their actual strengths. Meaning that strong nuclear force should be able to negatively affect all other three(to a certain extent; that may not be how they actually interact). I don't have the greatest grasp regarding these concepts and wanted to improve on my story building.

Assumptions would be that the laws of physics hold true as much as possible. There are limits to each power and the powers don't work at a planetary scale.

P.S. I'm new to the forum so I don't know how things work. So, if there's an issue with the question let me know and I will try to edit it and republish the query.

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    $\begingroup$ There have been questions along these lines before. Such as worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/163001/… and worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/163542/… And probably others. It's worthwhile to do some searching to see if the ideas you're looking for are already out there. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 20:08
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    $\begingroup$ Ironically, since the actual day-to-day observable effects of these forces tend in the opposite direction, it may be more in the realm on anti-effects. Mr. Strong Nuclear can't actually DO anything on a macro scale (short of splitting the atom and vaporizing himself), but cancels out the effects of other abilities. The electromagnetic woman would have a fair set of abilities, and cancels out lesser heroes. Weak nuclear boy (? radiation/decay powers, but cancels gravitation). Gravity girl can toss giant things, but is countered by everyone else. $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 20:38
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    $\begingroup$ Getting powers out of strong nuclear forces is kind of quarky, To make it stick, you have to get gluon it. ;) $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 20:48
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    $\begingroup$ The strong nuclear force is the strongest, but it is also the most short ranged; it vanishes at ranges of 5 fm (femtometers!) or so. (For comparison, the wavelength of green light is about 500,000,000 fm.) The electromagnetic force is the only one which is both reasonably strong and reasonably long ranged. Gravitation is the weakest, but is also has the longest range by very far. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 22:10
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    $\begingroup$ Gravity abilities are also largely what is done with biotics in Mass Effect. Probably the best suggestion is that they manipulate dark matter: youtube.com/watch?v=Q6MRcNzJ56I $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 22:59

1 Answer 1


If I'm not mistaken, the strength of a force has to do with how much effort it takes to overcome its effect, e.g. it takes much more to unbind gluon-tethered quarks than it does to unbind gravitationally tethered particles generally (outside of black holes). That's probably not perfectly accurate at all so see this essay for a better recap/analysis.

Anyway, for story purposes, we might still want to translate our talk of force strength into the indicated ranking. Since the forces generally have to do with binding and unbinding of mass/energy systems, the strong-force character would be able to hold objects together in defiance of electromagnetic repulsion, weak decay, or gravitational attraction. The electromagnetic character could deter weak decay and gravity, the weak-force character could manipulate decay and resist gravity, and lastly the gravity character could manipulate gravity but be vulnerable to interruption by characters manipulating the stronger forces.

Or something along these lines.


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