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Archived Question about Weak Nuclear Force

  1. Sep 21, 2003 #1


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    Hi; I have a question: Does the weak nuclear force convey the decay undergone by radioisotopes or not? Is the decay of radioisotopes caused instead by the electromagnetic repulsion that overcomes the strong nuclear force? Also, what type of radioactivity is conveyed by the weak nuclear force? I know that beta decay is one; how about the other types of decay, including electron capture?

    Oh; and another question: Do W-, W+, and Z0 bosons that convey the weak nuclear force have mass? Do the gluons that convey the strong nuclear force also convey mass? Also, does the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear obey Pauli's exclusion principle? Or does Pauli's Exclusion Principle only occur for particles?

    I am writing a summary of what the four forces are, for a 9th grade Physical Science assignment. While I will only need a one-sentence description of each force, I am compelled to write essays on all four forces, because this branch of physics really intrigues me. So can anyone please answer my questions? Thanks! =)

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2016 #2
    As far as I am aware, alpha decay is caused by the binding energy of the alpha particle being greater than that of the nucleus. Gamma decay is just de-excitation. Beta decay (+ and -), as well as electron capture are caused by the weak nuclear force.

    Yes they do, which is why the weak nuclear force has such a short range. The more massive the gauge boson, the shorter the range of the force. The masses of each are W (+ and -): 80.39±0.02 GeV/c2; Z: 91.188±0.002 GeV/c2

    As for the gluons, the strong nuclear force tends to zero, so has a theoretical mass of 0. Experiments, however, seem to show that the mass of the gluon is not greater than 0.0002 eV/c2

    No. The Pauli Exclusion principle is only for particles with a half-integer spin. Particles with an integer spin (bosons) are not subject to this.
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