Boson - bosun

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Do not confuse the near-homophones (realized by some speakers as perfect homophones) boson and bosun ('BO-zun', 'BO-sun', IPA: /'bəʊ zən, 'bəʊ sən /).

  • Boson is a term from Nuclear Physics. A boson is one of the two classes of fundamental (sub-atomic) particles, the other being the fermion.
"The classification of known particles made by the standard model of particle physics separates them into these two classes, and features many particles of spin-1, which are responsible for mediating the fundamental forces between particles. These so-called gauge bosons are the photons which cause electromagnetism, the W and Z bosons that give the weak nuclear force, and the gluons which give the strong nuclear force. Additionally, the standard model has a spin-0 boson known as the Higgs particle, responsible for giving mass to other particles. Gravity is not included in the standard model, but can be considered to be mediated by bosonic particles called gravitons, which have spin-2 being fermions."
(From the article on "bosons" in Liddle and Loveday, 2008.)
  • Bosun is a common and not incorrect spelling of boatswain, reflecting its pronunciation.