A heavy charged elementary particle considered to transmit the weak interaction between other elementary particles.
- ‘The detection of the W particle is an example of extraordinary scientific sleuthing, comparable to finding a missing person in a crowd of a billion people.’
- ‘The other W particle has decayed into a tau lepton (a heavy relative of the electron) and its neutral partner, the tau-neutrino.’
- ‘They knew they were logging lots of data with low backgrounds, just what they needed to find W particles.’
- ‘In conjunction with the observation of Z particles later that year, CERN's discovery of W particles brought the laboratory its first Nobel Prize in 1984.’
- ‘For example, the neutrino, a product of radioactive decay, senses protons by exchanging W particles with them, which may change a proton back into a neutron.’
W, the initial letter of weak.