Bosons are particles that carry energy and force throughout the universe.
The Standard Model of particle physics — the most powerful theory we have about the subatomic world — divides each particle into universe Even larger composite particles can be divided into two broad categories; fermions and bosons.
Fermions such as quarks, electronicneutrinos, protons and neutrons are the building blocks of matter, while one class of bosons, the gauge bosons, is responsible for acting as a “carrier” for at least three of the four basic strength– Electromagnetic force, strong nuclear force and weak nuclear force. This means that fermions interact through exchange of gauge bosons.
There may also be a boson to carry gravity , but not sure yet. Gauge bosons are elementary particles — meaning they’re not made up of smaller particles — but there are other bosons that are made up of smaller particles.
related: The Higgs Boson: The ‘God Particle’ Explained
Robert Lea holds a BA in Physics and Astronomy from the UK Open University. Robert has contributed to Space.com for over a decade, and his work has appeared in Physics World, New Scientist, Astronomy Magazine, All About Space, and more.
Bosons: What Makes Particles Bosons?
Bosons are named after the Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose, who in the 1920s conducted important research on the behavior of photons, the most famous bosons.
One of the key defining characteristics of bosons has to do with a quantum mechanical property called “spin,” which can be thought of as the deflection of a particle when it experiences a magnetic field that imparts angular momentum.
Despite the similarity, in the macroscopic world of classical physics, spin is more complex than angular momentum, mainly because particles can have fractions of spins, which means that there is no truly “classical” way to describe spin.
Fermions are particles with 1/2 spin and can have positive or negative values. This means that fermions can have the equivalent of 1/2, -1/2, 3/2, and -3/2. Positive or negative determines the direction the particle will take with its intrinsic angular momentum.
Bosons, on the other hand, have integer spins including zero. This means that these particles can take on spin values of 0, 1, -1, 2, -2, etc.
Adding the two halves mathematically yields an integer, and in a similar fashion, combining an even number of fermions produces a larger particle, a boson.
These include mesons — formed when two quarks combine — and even atoms with an even number of fermions. For example, helium-4 atoms are bosons because they consist of two protons, two neutrons, and two electrons. When considering the special and unique properties of bosons, the helium 4 atom will have a special correlation.
What are the different bosons?
Bosons can be divided in several ways, but to introduce the different particles that make up this wing of the “particle zoo”, it is convenient to divide them into two rough groupings – particles for which we have experimental evidence, and those for which we currently only have experimental evidence. theoretical particles.
discovery of bosons
Easily the most famous gauge boson is the photon, the constituent particle of light and the medium of the electromagnetic force.
For a spin-1 photon, the spin is the quantum-mechanical equivalent of polarization, or the direction in which light waves are oriented. This means that the photon spins can be parallel or antiparallel in direction.
Photons were invented at the turn of the 20th century by Max Planck and Albert Einstein The proposed light exists in packets of energy called “quanta.” In 1928, American chemist Gilbert Lewis introduced the name “photon” for these quanta.
related: The Double Slit Experiment: Is Light a Wave or a Particle?
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The gluon was the second gauge boson to be discovered, a boson that carries the strong nuclear force. Therefore, they are responsible for “sticking” other particles together.
Specifically, gluons bind quarks together to create protons and neutrons. But gluons don’t stop there: They also bind these composite particles — collectively called “nucleons” — in the nucleus of the atom at the heart of all everyday matter.
Gluons were discovered in 1979 at the Electron Positron Collider PETRA at DESY, Germany.
W and Z Bosons
The W and Z bosons are the standard bosons responsible for carrying the weak nuclear force—stronger than gravity, but only effective over a very short range. These spin 0 bosons are responsible for nuclear decay, where one element becomes another by helping a proton become a neutron, and vice versa.
A big problem with the discovery of the W and Z bosons in 1983 was figuring out how they acquired their mass, since theories at the time suggested they should be as massless as photons.
This Higgs boson Originally introduced into the Standard Model of particle physics to explain how the W and Z bosons acquire mass, its mass-granting role as a promoter of the Higgs field soon expanded to almost all particles.
The Higgs boson was discovered in a high-energy proton-proton collision in 2012 Large Hadron Collider(LHC) – the world’s most powerful particle accelerator.
The Higgs boson has a spin of 0, and its discovery is said to have completed the Standard Model, but beyond this model there is still physics to be discovered. The exploration of physics beyond the Standard Model means that there are other theoretical bosons to explore.
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One thing that cannot be described by the Standard Model framework of particle physics is gravity.That’s because quantum mechanics — subatomic physics — and general relativityEinstein’s theory of gravity, don’t mesh.
The other fundamental forces get a standard boson to carry them (the weak force even has two) so why shouldn’t gravity? The gauge boson of gravity — the “graviton” — has been theorized, but so far has not been experimentally proven.
Because gravity is negligible at the subatomic level, the absence of gravitons and the absence of a “quantum theory of gravity” doesn’t hinder the model too much.
boson super partner
One potential physical model beyond the Standard Model is “supersymmetry.” The theory — which proposes to “fix” the mass of the Higgs boson — suggests that every fermion in the particle zoo has a boson partner.
The extra particles would help “offset” some of the Higgs boson’s mass, thereby explaining why it’s relatively light.
Bosons: “Social” Particles
Half-integer spin fermions cannot have the same quantum number due to a phenomenon called the Pauli exclusion principle. This means that fermions cannot cluster together.
However, bosons have complete integer spins and do not obey the Pauli exclusion principle. This means they can be tightly grouped together, resulting in some unique physical properties.
The most common example of a “social boson” is a laser, which consists of photons of the same wavelength and frequency, all moving in the same direction.
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A more exotic example of a boson violating the Pauli exclusion principle was presented in 1924. Albert Einstein and Bose determined that bosons should condense together in their ground state (their lowest energy state), resulting in a Bose-Einstein condensation, producing a superfluid cooled to 2.17 in liquid helium K, so it has the lowest energy.
Coupled electrons — called “Cooper pairs” — are classified as “quasiparticles” that can be forced to behave like bosons, condensing into a state of zero resistance.The creation of a Bose-Einstein condensate in a dilute gas of alkali atoms earned three researchers the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics (opens in new tab).
Explore the Higgs boson in more detail and discover why it’s so special with CERN (opens in new tab).
Learn more about particle physics with this free course open university (opens in new tab).
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“Meet the super buddies at the Large Hadron Collider (opens in new tab).” APS Physics (2010).
“Supersymmetric (opens in new tab). “CERN (2022).
“The discovery of gluons (opens in new tab).” Sau Lan Wu, University of Wisconsin-Madison/CERN, (2018).
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