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W and Z particles

W and Z particles, elementary particles that mediate, or carry, the fundamental force associated with weak interactions. The discovery of the W and Z particles at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland, in the early 1980s was an important confirmation of electroweak theory, which unifies the electromagnetic and weak forces. The W and Z particles are quite massive for elementary particles; they are roughly 100 times as massive as the proton.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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