Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A hypothetical boson having no charge or spin and small mass, proposed to explain the existence of certain symmetries of the strong nuclear force.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a hypothetical subatomic particle postulated to explain some symmetry problems arising in the strong nuclear force.

Etymologies

axi(al) + -on1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Named by Frank Wilczek after Axion, a brand of laundry detergent, for its -on suffix and the notion that the new particle could "clean up" a problem in physics. (Wiktionary)

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