One of the four fundamental forces of nature, weaker than the strong force and the electromagnetic force. It is important only in the decay of certain elementary particles.
This force is carried by heavy particles known as the W-boson and the Z-boson. The most common manifestation of this force is beta decay, in which a neutron in a nucleus is transformed into a proton, by emitting an electron and a neutrino.
A short-range nuclear force responsible for radioactivity and the decay of certain atomic nuclei.