# eli5: What are the bosons and what do they do?

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eli5: What are the bosons and what do they do?

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Bosons are all fundamental particles that have an integer spin, as well, you can get a composite boson by combining an even number of fermions, so things like Helium 4 is a boson. The fundamental bosons include: the photon, the gluon, the Higgs boson, and W and Z bosons.

One of the big consequences of that is that bosons do not have to comply with the “Pauli exclusion principle”. This lets multiple bosons be in the same state at the same time. (You can shine as much light as you want on a single point, and it allows for something called a “Bose-Einstein condensate”, where all the atoms in your sample act like a single atom, it’s weird).

Also, all particles that carry the fundamental forces are bosons.

When you break things down into the smallest possible particles, you get elementary particles. These include electrons, quarks (the things that make up protons/neutrons), and photons.

These can be classified into two groups: fermions and bosons. Fermions include quarks, electrons, and neutrinos. Bosons include photons (electromagnetic force carriers), gluons (strong force), W & Z bosons (weak force), and gravitons (gravity)

The main difference between the two groups is a property called “spin”. Fermions half spins of 1/2, 3/2, -1/2, etc. Bosons have spin -1, 0, 1, 2, etc. Fermions, with their half-integer spin, obey the Pauli Exclusion Principle, which says you can’t have 2 particles in the same place at the same time. Bosons don’t obey this rule, meaning you can cram as many of them into the same place as you want

Alternatively, a boson is a contraction of boat swain, a higher level worker on a ship who manages the work of the deck hands.