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In Search of the Ultimate Building Blocks by Gerard 't Hooft

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23 Supergravity

The gravitational force is surely one of the most remarkable forces acting upon our elementary particles. You may remember that at the beginning of our journey towards the world of the small we observed that gravity is much less important for tiny creatures than it is for large ones. We used the example that, whereas a mouse can climb up a nearly straight wall, an elephant cannot. For atoms and molecules, and all the other particles we have discussed so far, gravity is practically a negligible phenomenon. But when we look at particles considerably smaller than the size of an atomic nucleus, we reach a turning point. Gravity acts upon the mass of the particles, whereas all other forces act on something we call ‘charge’. The difference ...

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