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    What is the weak interaction and what does "interaction" actually mean for example when the weak interaction. causes beta decay?
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    (Original post by Jennifer50)
    What is the weak interaction and what does "interaction" actually mean for example when the weak interaction. causes beta decay?
    are you referring to intermolecular forces?
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    Weak interaction/nuclear force enables heavy nuclei to form. Involves the exchange of W and Z bosons and enables quarks to change flavours, which is how beta decay comes about.
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    So what does the term "interaction" mean?
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    (Original post by Jennifer50)
    So what does the term "interaction" mean?
    It's the interaction between sub atomic particles, have you studied Fenyman diagrams? They will help you to actually visualise this. The interaction of particles is enabled by so called exchange particles, in the WI case it's W and Z bosons that enable a quark to change from one type to another.
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    So for beta minus decay how does the weak interaction work, do the subatomic particles in a neutron exert a weak force on each other. And does the boson then decay into the anti neutrino and electron?
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    (Original post by Jennifer50)
    So for beta minus decay how does the weak interaction work, do the subatomic particles in a neutron exert a weak force on each other. And does the boson then decay into the anti neutrino and electron?
    The weak interaction is the only force which can change the flavour of quarks. That is, it can change a down quark to an up quark, a top into a bottom and so on. In β- decay, a down quark is changed by the weak interaction into an up quark, an electron and an electron antineutrino.
    In β+ decay, an up quark is changed by the weak interaction into a down quark, a positron and an electron neutrino.
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    So for beta minus decay is it the w boson that decays itself into an electron an anti neutrino?
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    Yeah, the changing of a down quark into an up quark within a neutron is caused by the emission of a W - boson, this then decays into an electron and an antineutrino. For beta minus.
 
 
 
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