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Post at: Jul 20 2022

W Boson Particle

Why in News ?

  • In Early April, 2022 Researchers from Collider Deteriorate at Fermilab (CDF) announced that they have made a precise measurement of the mass of the W Boson.
  • The Aim was to discover the identity and properties of particles that make up the universe.

What is W Boson ?

  • The W Boson is a fundamental particle which along with Z Boson is responsible for the weak force, one of four fundamental forces that govern the behavior of matter in our universe.
  • The W Boson, which is electrically charged changes the very make up of particles.
  • It switches protons into neutrons and vice versa, through the weak force, transferring nuclear fusion and letting stars burn.
  • In contrast to the photon, which is massless the W Bosons are quite massive, so the weak force they mediate is very short ranged.
  • The W Boson was first seen in 1983 at CERN (France). 

Measurement of W Boson's Mass

  • Researchers at CERN measured the boson's mass by smashing beams of protons and antiprotons together and analysing the particles produced in the collision. 

Implication of Measurement

  • If the new precision measurement is con-firmed, the results suggest that the Standard Model calculation for the W Boson needs to be adjusted or an extension needs to be made to the model to explain the results.
  • Difference in the results could even mean new particles or changes in the understanding of interactions described by the standard model.

Standard Model of Elementary Particle Physics

  • The standard model of elementary particles is a theoretical construct in physics that describes particles of matter and their interaction.
  • It describes the elementary particles of the world as being connected by mathematical symmetry, just as two objects are connected by bilateral symmetry.
  • These are generated by continuous transformation from one particle to another.
  • This model shows that there are finite number of particles which are represented by the characteristic Eigen states of these groups.
  • The particles predicted by the model, such as the Z boson, have been seen in experiments.
  • The latest discovered in 2012 was the Higgs boson which gives mass to heavy particles.
  • It gives a unified picture of only three of the four fundamental forces of nature - Electromagnetic, Weak and Strong interactions and Omitting gravity.
  • In the grand plan of unifying all forces so that a single equation would describe all the interactions of matter, the standard model was found to be lacking.
  • The standard model does not include a description of dark matter particles.


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