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W bosons

  1. Dec 2, 2008 #1
    need help, I'm reading that W bosons are 80 GeV, but they are components of protons of ~1 GEV. Makes no sense. Is the 80 GeV the mass/energy of the particle if it is outside the proton? If so what is the mass/energy as a transfer particle within the proton. If you subtract the mass of the quarks from 1GeV is the remaining energy the sum of the energy of the bosons?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2008 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    W bosons are not components of protons. Are you sure you're not confusing them with quarks?
  4. Dec 3, 2008 #3


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    He might think that by looking at pictures of beta decay, where a VIRTUAL W-boson carries the weak force and couples it between an electron and a neutrino.

    He might think that the W-boson preexists as a component of the proton. But that is not how it is really. The W boson is for the first a virtual particle, so it does not satisfy E^2 = p^2 +m^2, secondly energy conservation CAN be violated, but only for a short time. We have that [tex]E\dot t > \hbar/2[/tex], so it is ok for the W boson to just come from "nowere" to "do its job" by chaning the proton to a neutron and creating an electron and a neutrino.
  5. Dec 3, 2008 #4
    Thank you malawi, you hit my lapse on several fronts. I was reading about neutron decay to proton with ejection of W- and got to thinking that W- was the boson (gluon) exchange particle. total confusion.
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