weak nuclear force


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weak nuclear force

n.
The weak force responsible for the beta decay of radioactive nuclei.

weak nuclear force

(wēk)
A force that causes subatomic particles within the nuclei of atoms to decay or break up into smaller particles and to give off energy as radiation. The weak nuclear force is one of the four basic forces in nature, being weaker than the strong nuclear force and the electromagnetic force but stronger than gravity. Also called weak interaction.
References in periodicals archive ?
The three quantum-based forces are electromagnetism, the weak nuclear force (responsible for radioactivity) and the strong nuclear force (which glues together the protons and neutrons in atomic nuclei).
The other forces are gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak nuclear force.
The Higgs boson was first proposed as a theoretical particle in the 1960s as an answer to the question of why other subatomic particles have mass, and why electromagnetic force has a much longer range than the weak nuclear force, which is responsible for radioactive decay.
Other physicists worked out similar scenarios at about the same time, and later work showed how the Higgs phase transition could explain the distinct identities of two of nature's basic forces: electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force.
The four forces of nature are considered to be the gravitational force, the electromagnetic force, which has residual effects, the weak nuclear force, and the strong nuclear force, which also has residual effects.
It is held together, indeed balanced exquisitely, by the four fundamental forces: gravity, electromagnetism and the strong and weak nuclear force.
But neutrons free from nuclear confinement are unstable: The weak nuclear force compels them to break apart and die.
The latest discovery involves the weak nuclear force and is harder to identify experimentally.
Neutrinos only interact via the weak nuclear force, which has very short range, points out Boris Kayser, a neutrino theorist at Fermilab.