Color Force

The force between quarks is the color force.

Inside a baryon the color force displays properties not observed in the strong interaction between nucleons.

The color force does not drop off with distance and is responsible for the confinement of quarks.

The color force involves the exchange of gluons.

It is so strong that the quark-antiquark pair production energy is reached before quarks can be separated.

It appears to exert little force at short distances, so the quarks are like free particles within the confining boundary of the color force and only experience the strong confining force when they begin to get too far apart. The term "asymptotic freedom" is sometimes invoked to describe this behavior of the gluon interaction between quarks.

Outside a baryon the color force is the source of the strong interaction that takes place between baryons. The strong interaction that holds baryons together is due to the residual color force which extends beyond the proton or neutron. This binds them together within the nucleus.