- either of two types of charged intermediate vector bosons, one having a positive charge and the other a negative charge. Symbols: W+, W−
Origin of W particle
First recorded in 1970–75; apparently for weak
Also called W boson.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- physics a type of elementary particle with either a positive or negative charge considered to transmit the weak interaction between other elementary particles. W particles have a rest mass of 1.435 × 10 –25 kgAlso called: W boson See also Z particle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
- A subatomic particle with positive electric charge that mediates the weak nuclear force. The W boson has a mass 160,000 times that of the electron. Unlike the other weak force mediator (the Z boson), the W boson changes particles it interacts with into other kinds of particles; for example, in beta-plus decay(a kind of beta decay), an up quark in a proton decays into a down quark by emitting a W boson, changing the proton into a neutron. The W boson itself decays into a positron and an electron neutrino. See Table at subatomic particle.
- See W boson.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.