weak nuclear force

views updated Jun 08 2018

weak nuclear force (weak interaction) One of the four fundamental forces in physics. It causes radioactive beta decay of particles. This weak force is carried by intermediate vector bosons, elementary particles that are also called weakons. Being of very short range, the weak nuclear force can be observed only in the subatomic realm. It is weaker than the electromagnetic force and the strong nuclear force (the strongest of the forces) but stronger than gravitation.