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A massive force carrying particle? The weak nuclear force, the W boson has mass?

by filegraphy
Tags: boson, carrying, force, mass, massive, nuclear, particle, weak
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filegraphy
#1
Jul15-10, 04:23 PM
P: 93
I was looking at the list of the force carrying particles and all of their masses read zero other than the W boson of the weak nuclear force.

Q: Does the W boson travel at the speed of light even if it is massive? (I am guessing not)
Q: If the W boson is massive then it emits other gauge bosons in a gravitational field. How can this be? A boson emit other bosons?
Q: Does the W boson have spin or charge?

Thank you for answering.
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mathman
#2
Jul15-10, 04:48 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 6,039
http://pdg.lbl.gov/2009/tables/rpp20...ggs-bosons.pdf

The above will give you the answers.
the_house
#3
Jul16-10, 03:07 AM
P: 134
Quote Quote by filegraphy View Post
I was looking at the list of the force carrying particles and all of their masses read zero other than the W boson of the weak nuclear force.
The Z boson also has mass.

Quote Quote by filegraphy View Post
Q: Does the W boson travel at the speed of light even if it is massive? (I am guessing not)
No, a W boson will not travel at the speed of light.

Quote Quote by filegraphy View Post
Q: If the W boson is massive then it emits other gauge bosons in a gravitational field. How can this be? A boson emit other bosons?
I don't really want to talk about gravitons, but a W boson has electric charge and so it couples directly to photons (see the next question). So there's no problem with a boson emitting other bosons.


Quote Quote by filegraphy View Post
Q: Does the W boson have spin or charge?
The W is a spin 1 particle with electric charge of +1 or -1. See the pdf that mathman linked to for more details.

ansgar
#4
Jul16-10, 06:14 AM
P: 505
A massive force carrying particle? The weak nuclear force, the W boson has mass?

Quote Quote by the_house View Post



No, a W boson will not travel at the speed of light.
why not, it is virtual and does not satisfy E^2 = P^2 + M^2
tom.stoer
#5
Jul16-10, 07:55 AM
Sci Advisor
P: 5,366
The W-boson need not be a virtual particle; it is only a particle with a rather short lifetime; but in that sense even neutrons are only virtual particles.

A virtual particle does not have a velocity at all. A virtual particle is not a single particle but a "bunch of all particles possible in momentum space" with an "integral over momentum space".
filegraphy
#6
Jul16-10, 11:31 AM
P: 93
Thank you all for the answers. That makes sense that the W and Z bosons cannot travel at the speed of light because there fore would require infinte amount of energy to get it to that speed causing it to have an infinite amount of mass.


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