Weak nuclear interactions
Commins, Eugene D. Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, California.
- Early history
- Fermi's theory
- Parity nonconservation
- V-A law
- Emergence of the standard model
- Verification of the standard model
- Cabibbo-Kobayashi-Maskawa matrix
- CPT invariance and CP violation
- Weak interactions of neutrinos
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Fundamental interactions of nature that play a significant role in elementary-particle and nuclear physics, and are distinguished from other such interactions by special properties such as participation of all the fundamental fermions and failure to conserve parity and to respect particle–antiparticle symmetry. According to present understanding, the four fundamental forces of nature are the gravitational, the electromagnetic, the strong, and the weak. The weak force has short range (less than 10−17 m) and at low energies is very feeble compared to the strong and electromagnetic forces, but it can be distinguished from the latter by its special character. For example, all of matter (with the possible exception of dark matter) appears to consist of certain basic constituents, the quarks and leptons, collectively called the fundamental fermions (Table 1). While only quarks participate in strong interactions, and only the quarks and the charged leptons (e±, μ±, τ±) participate in electromagnetic interactions, all of the fundamental fermions, including neutrinos, engage in weak interactions. Moreover, while the strong and electromagnetic interactions respect spatial inversion symmetry (parity) and are also particle–antiparticle (charge conjugation) symmetric, the weak interaction violates these two symmetries. See also: Fundamental interactions; Lepton; Parity (quantum mechanics); Quarks; Symmetry laws (physics)
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information