In the depths of matter the strongest bond holds its core.
At the heart of matter, particles constantly appear and disappear in a vibrant dance. Inside the nucleus, forming protons and neutrons, quarks continuously exchange gluons, the mediators of the strong interaction. Quarks cannot exist alone, because the energy needed to pull them apart is so large that it would create even more quarks around them.
How a proton forms.
Visualizing the gluon field around quarks.