Thursday, August 25, 2011

Discovery of W and Z boson

First experimental evidence flavoring a unified description of the weak and electromagnetic interactions had been obtained in 1973 with discovery of neutral current interactions of neutrinos at CERN.

Result from neutrino experiments could be used to predict their mass to be around 80-90 GeV and the search for these bosons was given the higher priority.

In 1976, the Italian physicist Carlo Rubbia presented a paper with the idea of converting an existing accelerator at that time into a storage ring for protons and antiprotons, with the hoped it would have sufficient energy to detect the W and Z bosons.

The Dutch physicist later Simon Van der Meer invented a method that made Rubbia’s idea possible. The W and Z boson was particles were found and both were awarded Nobel Prize for physics in 1984.

In January 1983, scientist at the CERN Super Proton Synchrotron collider discovered the W boson.

A few months later a new paper published which provided the first evidence for the neutral intermediate Z boson.

With the discovery of the heavy gauge bosons W and Z in 1983, the theory of electroweak interactions was firmly established.

The discoveries of neutral currents and of the W and Z bosons marked a watershed in the fortune of CERN.

Decades after the discovery that the photon had no mass, its massive siblings the gauge bosons of the weak force – were observed in the laboratory.
Discovery of W and Z boson

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