Special Topic

Fundamental Interactions of Elementary Particles: Discoveries and Perspectives
  • G. Costa
Part of the Ettore Majorana International Science Series book series (EMISS, volume 46)


Recent progress in the unification of the fundamental interactions among elementary constituents of matter is reviewed. A great achievement has been the unification of electromagnetic and weak interactions, which implies the existence of heavy intermediate bosons (W± and Z°), discovered in 1983 at the proton-antiproton collider at CERN, Geneva. The peculiar properties of strong interactions can be understood in a theoretical framework, called quantum chromodynamics, in which the relevant quanta are the quarks and the gluons. Some progress has been made in the next step of unifying also strong and electroweak interactions in a theory of Grand Unification. A characteristic feature is the prediction of the proton decay, for which extensive experimental searches have put already stringent limits. Finally, recent ideas about the important role that gravitation might have in elementary particles are briefly discussed.


Gauge Symmetry Vector Boson Proton Decay Grand Unify Theory Electroweak Interaction 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Costa
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Fisica dell’UniversitàPadovaItaly
  2. 2.Istituto Nazionale di Fisica NucleareSezione di PadovaItaly

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