What is the difference between a meson and a boson?
Meson is a type of a Hadron and is a composite particle made up of quarks (and/or anti-quarks) which has integer spin and is hence classified as a Boson in accordance with the spin-statistics theorem.
Mesons are not elementary.
A Boson is a particle with a symmetric under exchange wavefunction and integer spin (the other type being a Fermion which has anti-symmetric wavefunction under exchange and half integer spins).
Bosons are further classified as scalar or vector bosons depending on whether or not they have spins (if they have spin, they must be integral).
A Scalar Boson does not have a spin and is assigned a spin
The Higgs Boson is a scalar boson.
On the other hand, a Vector Boson has spin associated with it.
A Photon is an example of a vector Boson and has a spin
A meson is a composite particle and a vector boson is a spin 1 force carrier particle.
There are two types of particles, fermions and bosons.
Fermions obey the Fermi Dirac statistics and there can only be on particle with the same energy state and spin. Protons, neutrons and electrons are fermions.
Bosons obey the Einstein Bose statistics. Multiple particles can be in the same energy state. Bosons are often force carriers.
Mesons are bosons and are highly unstable particles consisting of one quark and one antiquark. They can have a spin of 0 or 1. Spin one mesons are called vector bosons. Pi mesons were originally thought to transmit the strong nuclear force until the underlying colour force was discovered.
Some bosons are fundamental particles such as the photon. A vector boson has a spin of 1. The photon and W and Z bosons are vector bosons which transmit forces. The photon is responsible for the electromagnetic force and the W and Z for the Weak nuclear force.