Weak Nuclear force

The weak nuclear force is one of the four fundamental forces in nature. The other forces are the electromagnetic force, the strong nuclear force and gravity.

  • The weak nuclear force was responsible for the creation of elements in the early universe including hydrogen, helium, and lithium. Today it plays a key role in the nuclear fusion reactions that power the sun and other stars.
  • The weak nuclear force is responsible for the decay of radioactive isotopes, as well as for other nuclear reactions such as beta decay and neutrino interactions.
    • When unstable radioactive isotopes decay, they emit radiation and transform into a more stable elements.
    • In beta decay, a neutron in the nucleus of an atom decays into a proton, an electron, and an antineutrino.
    • neutrino interactions occur in nuclear reactors. Neutrinos are very light particles that rarely interact with matter, but they can interact with the nuclei of atoms through the weak nuclear force.
  • The weak nuclear force is a very weak, but it has a long range. It is also very selective, interacting only with certain types of subatomic particles.
  • The weak nuclear force is mediated by a family of particles called W and Z bosons.