Astronomy Jargon 101: Weak Force – Universe Today



In this collection we’re exploring the strange world of astronomy jargon! You’ll be shocked by the ability of right this moment’s matter: the weak power!

The weak nuclear power doesn’t get plenty of love. Even although it was found earlier than its sibling, the robust power, it acquired caught with a a lot much less spectacular identify. Physicists within the 1930’s realized that the power should exist once they have been making an attempt to know a course of referred to as beta decay, the place a neutron inside an atomic nucleus will spontaneously resolve to change into a proton, and within the course of an electron shoots out of the nucleus.
The weak power has a really quick vary, lower than the width of atomic nucleus, and solely operates hardly ever. But it does have a hidden superpower that no different power is able to: it may possibly rework one type of particle into one other.
Every proton and neutron is made from smaller, extra elementary particles referred to as quarks. A single proton is absolutely two up-quarks and one down-quark glued collectively, whereas a neutron is 2 down-quarks and a single up-quark.

The weak nuclear power is able to switching the identities of the quarks. In the case of beta decay, the weak power transforms one of many up-quarks in a proton right into a down-quark, turning it right into a neutron.
The weak power has three carriers, referred to as the W+, W?, and Z bosons. Each a kind of carriers performs a special function, relying on the fees of the opposite particles concerned.
The weak nuclear power has one different extraordinarily bizarre characteristic. It’s the one one of many 4 forces to violate one thing referred to as the symmetry of parity. In virtually all physics, any interplay amongst particles seems like the identical when considered within the mirror. But not the weak power – it seems completely different.
So although it doesn’t have an thrilling identify, it seems to be maybe the strangest of the forces.
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