W and Z particles, elementary particles that mediate, or carry, the fundamental force associated with weak interactions. The discovery of the *W* and *Z* particles at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland, in the early 1980s was an important confirmation of electroweak theory, which unifies the electromagnetic and weak forces. The *W* and *Z* particles are quite massive for elementary particles; they are roughly 100 times as massive as the proton.

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