The W and Z Bosons

The neutral current interactions are one of the ways in which subatomic particles can interact by means of the weak nuclear force. These interactions are mediated by the Z boson, and the interaction is called 'neutral' because it has no electric charge. The discovery of weak neutral currents was a significant step toward the unification of electromagnetism and the weak force into the electroweak force, and led to the discovery of the W and Z bosons.

Particle accelerators with energies necessary to observe neutral current interactions and to measure the mass of Z boson weren't available until 1983.

On the other hand, Z boson interactions involving neutrinos have distinctive signatures: They provide the only known mechanism for elastic scattering of neutrinos in matter, this means they are scattered throughout space and areas by the z and w bosons. The z boson scatters it elastically and the w boson scatters it inelastically. Weak neutral currents were predicted in 1973 by Abdus Salam, Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg, and confirmed shortly thereafter, in the Gargamelle experiment at CERN.

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