This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009)
In particle physics, a vector boson is a boson whose spin equals one. The vector bosons that are regarded as elementary particles in the Standard Model are the gauge bosons, the force carriers of fundamental interactions: the photon of electromagnetism, the W and Z bosons of the weak interaction, and the gluons of the strong interaction. Some composite particles are vector bosons, for instance any vector meson (quark and antiquark). During the 1970s and 1980s, intermediate vector bosons (the W and Z bosons, which mediate the weak interaction) drew much attention in particle physics.
In relation to the Higgs bosonEdit
The name vector boson arises from quantum field theory. The component of such a particle's spin along any axis has the three eigenvalues −ħ, 0, and +ħ (where ħ is the reduced Planck constant), meaning that any measurement of its spin can only yield one of these values. (This is true for massive vector bosons; the situation differs for massless particles such as the photon, for reasons beyond the scope of this article. See Wigner's classification.)
The space of spin states therefore is a discrete degree of freedom consisting of three states, the same as the number of components of a vector in three-dimensional space. Quantum superpositions of these states can be taken such that they transform under rotations just like the spatial components of a rotating vector (the so called 3 representation of SU(2)). If the vector boson is taken to be the quantum of a field, the field is a vector field, hence the name.
The boson part of the name arises from the spin-statistics relation, which requires that all integer spin particles be bosons.
- Muhlleitner, M. M. (August 2018). "The Standard Model of Particle Physics" (PDF). Retrieved June 2, 2021.
- Barianti, G.; Gabathuler, E. (October 1983). "Intermediate Vector Bosons: Production and Identification at the CERN Proton-Antiproton Collider" (PDF). Europhysics News. pp. 6, 14. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
- Ellis, John; Gaillard, Mary K.; Girardi, Georges; Sorba, Paul (1982). "Physics of Intermediate Vector Boson". Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science. Annual Reviews. 32: 443–497. Bibcode:1982ARNPS..32..443E. doi:10.1146/annurev.ns.32.120182.002303. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
- "Confirmed! Newfound Particle Is a Higgs Boson". Live Science. 14 March 2013.
- Weingard, Robert. "Some Comments Regarding Spin and Relativity" (PDF).