W and Z particles


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W and Z particles,

elementary particleselementary particles,
the most basic physical constituents of the universe. Basic Constituents of Matter

Molecules are built up from the atom, which is the basic unit of any chemical element. The atom in turn is made from the proton, neutron, and electron.
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 that mediate, or carry, the fundamental force associated with weak interactionsweak interactions,
actions between elementary particles mediated, or carried, by W and Z particles and that are responsible for nuclear decay. Weak interactions are one of four fundamental interactions in nature, the others being gravitation, electromagnetism, and the strong interactions.
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. The discovery of the W and Z particles at CERNCERN
or European Organization for Nuclear Research,
nuclear and particle physics research center straddling the French-Swiss border W of Geneva, Switzerland. Established in 1952 as the provisional European Center for Nuclear Research (the acronym CERN derives from this
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 near Geneva, Switzerland, in the early 1980s was an important confirmation of electroweak theory, which unifies the electromagnetic and weak forces. The W and Z particles are quite massive for elementary particles; they are roughly 100 times as massive as the proton.