Electroweak interaction

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In particle physics, the electroweak interaction is the unified description of two of the four known fundamental interactions of nature: electromagnetism and the weak interaction. Although these two forces appear very different at everyday low energies, the theory models them as two different aspects of the same force. Above the unification energy, on the order of 100 GeV, they would merge into a single electroweak force. Thus if the universe is hot enough (approximately 1015 K, then the electromagnetic force and weak force will merge into a combined electroweak force.


Main source: Radiation

"In radiation theory, the total number of light quanta is not constant. Light quanta are created when they are emitted from an atom, and are annihilated when they are absorbed."[1]

By analogy to radiation theory, "The total number of electrons [and neutrinos] is not necessarily constant. Electrons (or neutrinos) can be created or annihilated. This ... is not analogous to the creation or annihilation of an electron-positron pair."[1]

"[E]ach transition from a neutron to a proton is associated with the creation of an electron and a neutrino. The reverse process (change of a proton into a neutron) must be associated with the annihilation of an electron and a neutrino."[1]

Weak interactions[edit]

The weak interaction is expressed with respect to nuclear electrons and the continuous β-ray emission spectrum of β decay.[1]

The weak interaction of weak force acts over a distance (r) by

Electromagnetic interactions[edit]

The electromagnetic interaction is a fundamental force of nature that is felt by charged particles. Its exchange particle is the photon (symbol γ) and the many forms of electromagnetic radiation are a manifestation of this interaction.

Electromagnetic interactions act over a distance (r) by

Electromagnetic interactions are long range attractions or repulsions between any particles or antiparticles that have charge. If the particles are attracted they stay together, because there is a continual exchange of photons.

Electroweak scale[edit]

In particle physics, the electroweak scale is the energy scale around 246 GeV, a typical energy of processes described by the electroweak theory. The particular number 246 GeV is taken to be the vacuum expectation value of the Higgs field (where is the Fermi coupling constant).

Theoretical electroweak interactions[edit]

Def. a "unified description of electromagnetic interaction and weak nuclear interaction"[2] is called an electroweak interaction.

Unified field theory[edit]

According to the current understanding of physics, forces are not transmitted directly between objects, but instead are described by intermediary entities called fields. Weak interaction is a repulsive short-range interaction responsible for some forms of radioactivity, that acts on electrons, neutrinos, and quarks. It is governed by the W and Z bosons.

Neutral currents[edit]

Weak neutral current interactions are one of the ways in which subatomic particles can interact by means of the weak force. These interactions are mediated by the Z boson. The discovery of weak neutral currents was a significant step toward the unification of electromagnetism and the weak force into the electroweak force, and led to the discovery of the W and Z bosons.


Main source: Hypotheses
  1. The electroweak interaction is itself only a special case of the ore general equation with an independent exponent.

See also[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Fred L. Wilson (December 1968). "Fermi's Theory of Beta Decay". American Journal of Physics 36 (12): 1150-60. http://microboone-docdb.fnal.gov/cgi-bin/RetrieveFile?docid=953;filename=FermiBetaDecay1934.pdf;version=1. Retrieved 2012-06-24. 
  2. Dick Laurent (9 May 2010). electroweak interaction. San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/electroweak_interaction. Retrieved 2017-04-08. 

External links[edit]

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