weak force

noun

Definition of weak force

: a fundamental physical force that governs interactions between hadrons and leptons (as in the emission and absorption of neutrinos) and is responsible for particle decay processes (such as beta decay) in radioactivity, that is 10-5 times the strength of the strong force, and that acts over distances smaller than those between nucleons in an atomic nucleus

called also weak interaction, weak nuclear force

— compare electromagnetism sense 2a, gravity sense 3a(2), strong force

Examples of weak force in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the 1960s, a series of theoretical and experimental breakthroughs proposed that the weak force is transmitted by particles called W and Z bosons. John Conway, The Conversation, 14 Apr. 2022 This process is driven by the weak force, and since the early 1900s, physicists sought an explanation for why and how atoms decay. John Conway, The Conversation, 14 Apr. 2022 The weak force is one that is unseen in daily life and exists at the subatomic particles accounting for the radioactive decay of certain particles into certain others. Washington Post, 26 July 2021 There’s just one boson (the massless photon) for the electromagnetic force, three (the massive W-and-Z bosons) for the weak force, eight (massless gluons), and one (massive) Higgs boson. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 Electromagnetism is a force that acts at large distances, but the weak force acts only at very short distances — smaller than the nucleus of an atom. BostonGlobe.com, 27 July 2021 Electromagnetism is a force that acts at large distances, but the weak force acts only at very short distances — smaller than the nucleus of an atom. BostonGlobe.com, 27 July 2021 Electromagnetism is a force that acts at large distances, but the weak force acts only at very short distances — smaller than the nucleus of an atom. BostonGlobe.com, 27 July 2021 Electromagnetism is a force that acts at large distances, but the weak force acts only at very short distances — smaller than the nucleus of an atom. BostonGlobe.com, 27 July 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'weak force.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of weak force

1968, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of weak force was in 1968

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Cite this Entry

“Weak force.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/weak%20force. Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about weak force

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