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Nuclear forces come in two varieties: strong and weak. The strong force involves quark-quark interactions, while the weak force is mainly responsible for radioactive decays. While the two forces behave differently, for the first time, new theoretical work applies a strong-force model to determine parameters of two weak-force processes: proton-proton fusion and tritium beta decay. The values calculated by the NPLQCD Collaboration are consistent with experimental observations. With further refinements, this work could lead to a better understanding of astrophysical nuclear processes and neutrino physics.

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Category: Science