Intermediate vector boson
Rohlf, James W. Department of Physics, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts.
- Production and detection
- Properties of W and Z particles
- Results from electron-positron annihilation
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
One of the three fundamental particles that transmit the weak force. (An example of a weak interaction process is nuclear beta decay.) These elementary particles—the W+, W−, and Z 0 particles—were discovered in 1983 in very high energy proton-antiproton collisions. It is through the exchange of W and Z bosons that two particles interact weakly, just as it is through the exchange of photons that two charged particles interact electromagnetically. The intermediate vector bosons were postulated to exist in the 1960s; however, their large masses prevented their production and study at accelerators until 1983. Their discovery was a key step toward unification of the weak and electromagnetic interactions. See also: Electroweak interaction; Elementary particle; Fundamental interactions; Weak nuclear interactions
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