There are no particles, there are only fields. ~ American physicist Art Hobson
The Standard Model (SM) of quantum mechanics describes an idealized schema of fundamental particles which supposedly comprise Nature. The term particle is a euphemism for a quantized energy field. Fields are mental abstractions of potentialities. According to physics, any appearance of substance is illusory.
Under SM, the subatomic quanta which give rise to matter are termed fermions. The localized force carriers that bind fermions together and otherwise control their interactions are bosons.
One telling difference between bosons and fermions has to do with occupancy: whereas 2 fermions cannot be in the same space at the same time, bosons can. That distinction is sometimes obliterated. Under certain conditions, fermions in crystal lattices adopt bosonic behaviors, including simultaneous multiple occupancy.
Embedded in SM’s orthodox cavalcade are ever-present swarms of “virtual particles” which constantly mob every fermion and boson. Elementary quanta are an exercise in crowd control, as these ed influences create the properties which fermions and bosons possess.
Extra-dimensionality is ever in play. Every infinitesimal chunk of energy making its appearance as a fermion is incessantly nudged by bosons. Just as gravity’s cosmic influence requires an extra dimension, so too bosons need ed to have an effect: 3d only states a fermion’s position in space.
Though a great diversity of field interactivity is in play, modern physicists acknowledge only 3 fundamental forces. Lively electromagnetism is in charge of all activity in the ambient realm. Subatomically, 2 opposing nuclear forces respectively hold matter together (strong) and cause its transformation and decay (weak).
As these forces are conventionally understood to be impositions by bosons upon fermions, the term interaction is often used. The Standard Model has the 3 interactions either emitting or absorbing gauge bosons: actuality as a metabolic exercise.
Because it compels matter, gravity was historically considered a 4th force. Einstein’s general relativity theory showed that gravity is not a force at all. Instead, gravity is an entropic extra-dimensional spacetime distortion caused by mass, which is an energetic expression. Gravity is a heavy illustration of the fact that Nature is not what it seems.
Gravity remains an ontological enigma. The beauty and success of general relativity seems to imply a reality of a curved spacetime framework to the universe. On the other hand, this curved framework is not at all required, and is indeed a hindrance for the rest of physics. Furthermore, general relativity is not a quantum theory, and so it must break down at some level. ~ American particle physicist Victor Stenger
Physicists ignore the most fundamental force, which is the most obvious, as it universally omnipresent: coherence. In that Nature at every scale is ordered, there must be a natural interaction that provides it. Even in apparent disorder there are obscure patterns that show coherence at work.