50 years ago, physicists thought they found the W boson. They hadn’t

August 21, 1971 cover of Science News

The W particle might per chance per chance were figured outScience News, August 21, 1971

Physicists distinguish four completely different forms of drive wherein objects within the universe act upon every completely different: the sturdy nuclear drive, the oldschool drive, electromagnetism and gravity. The developed thought of particle physics outfits every drive with a so-known as intermediate particle.… Now, from an abandoned silver mine at Park City, Utah, comes sturdy proof of the existence of the oldschool-drive quantum, customarily known as the … W particle.


The “sturdy proof” for this W particle, or W boson, fell aside below extra scrutiny. Physicists with CERN shut to Geneva at final caught the boson about a decade later (SN: 2/5/83, p. 84). Moreover helping mediate the oldschool drive, which governs definite forms of radioactive decay, the W boson has moreover helped scientists steal the Higgs boson (SN: 7/28/12, p. 5). Weighing the W boson narrowed down the Higgs’ mass fluctuate, making the Higgs easier to see. Physicists proceed unraveling W boson mysteries, corresponding to how the particles originate and whether or no longer extra vast versions exist.

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