# Why is the weak force a force?

• I
• LuisBabboni
In particle physics, we usually call this "interaction" instead of "force" because interaction sounds more general, but it's just a name either way. Weak force is just an interaction, not a force. It's just a bit weaker than the other three forces in the standard model, but it does have a noticeable effect in some cases.

#### LuisBabboni

Hi!

I could understand gravitational force as a force that move mass.
I could understand electromagnetic force as a force that moves chaerged particles.
I even could understand strong force as a force that atrack protons
I could not understand the moment of what weak force changes.

The moment of protons turns into neutros or viceverse in Beta decay?

Or weak force is just an interaction but not a force?
But therer is a magnitud comparision between weak and other forces, so I think is a force.

Thanks.

LuisBabboni said:
Why is the weak force a force?

I think is a force.
Well, you're right. It's a force. That's why it's called a force.

In particle physics we usually say "interaction" instead of "force" because interaction sounds more general, but it's just a name either way.

You do get forces from the weak interaction, e.g. mediated by the Z boson. They are just too weak to be relevant in most cases. Some neutrino detectors use them.

Classically, a force causes an acceleration. For that you need a path x(t) for the particle. In QM we don't have such a path, unless you're a Bohmian. So instead of "forces" we tend to speak of "interactions".

Classically, a force usually doesn't change the identity of a particle. But the weak interaction/force does (usually).

mfb said:
In particle physics we usually say "interaction" instead of "force" because interaction sounds more general, but it's just a name either way.

You do get forces from the weak interaction, e.g. mediated by the Z boson. They are just too weak to be relevant in most cases. Some neutrino detectors use them.
Yes, and that's very wise. I think "force" is a pretty problematic notion when it comes to relativity and relativistic QFT. Of course, for neutrinos you don't have any other chance then to use some weak-interaction process to protect them, because neutrinos as neutral leptons only interact via the weak interaction (and of course gravity, but you can entirely forget about it).

Thanks guys!

LuisBabboni said:
I could not understand the moment of what weak force changes.

Historically speaking, the weak force was the force that turned the neutron into proton, electron and something missing...

ORF and vanhees71