- a force between elementary particles that causes certain processes that take place with low probability, as radioactive beta-decay and collisions between neutrinos and other particles.
Compare weak interaction.
Origin of weak force
First recorded in 1965–70
Also called weak interaction force.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
- The fundamental force that acts between leptons and is involved in the decay of hadrons. The weak nuclear force is responsible for nuclear beta decay (by changing the flavor of quarks) and for neutrino absorption and emission. It is mediated by the intermediate vector bosons (the W boson and the Z boson), and is weaker than the strong nuclear force and the electromagnetic force but stronger than gravity. Some scientists believe that the weak nuclear force and the electromagnetic force are both aspects of a single force called the electroweak force. Also called weak nuclear force weak interaction Compare electromagnetic force.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.