I just read somewhere that both gluons and mesons transmit the strong force, gluons between quarks inside hadrons, but mesons between nucleons. I thought that the strong force would have one field, and one associated particle, whether inside hadrons, or between nucleons (I read somewhere else that the "nuclear force" is a "residual" of the strong force). Which is the more correct way to understand the strong and the nuclear forces and associated carriers?
- Gluons are the force carriers of the strong force.
- Also quarks have color charge (i.e. the take part in the strong interaction).
- Mesons are the combination of a quark and an antiquark.
- Baryons are from 3 quarks, antibaryons from 3 antiquarks. Nucleons are baryons.
The nuclear force is a residual force because it is the force between the nucleons. I.e. there is the 3 quark, bound with the strong force together. They zero out eachothers color charge, thus a nucleon has a zero net color charge. But it still has some color field around it, and it can interact strongly, similarly as two electric dipole would interact (although the forces between are more complex as the simple Coulomb formula).