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Author Topic: How does the Higgs Boson get mass?  (Read 2419 times)

Offline thedoc

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How does the Higgs Boson get mass?
« on: 21/10/2014 05:30:01 »
Manogrie Golden  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
The Higgs Boson is a relatively heavy particle - almost as heavy as the thymine molecule of the DNA, apparently. If the Higgs Boson is responsible for the Higgs field, which is what imparts mass to matter, what then is imparting mass to the Higgs Boson itself?
 
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 21/10/2014 05:30:01 by _system »


 

Offline JohnDuffield

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Re: How does the Higgs Boson get mass?
« Reply #1 on: 21/10/2014 10:19:38 »
The mass comes from the kinetic energy given to the LHC protons, by virtue of E=mc˛ wherein "the mass of a body is a measure of its energy-content". See Matt Strassler's Higgs article, where you can read this:

"Now it is true that the W and Z particles, the quarks, the charged leptons and the neutrinos must get their mass from a Higgs field. It’s not possible for them to have masses any other way. But this is not true of the Higgs particle itself".

IMHO there's been some misinformation about the Higgs boson. See A Zeptospace Odyssey by CERN physicist Gian Francesco Giudice, who says this:

"The most inappropriate name ever given to the Higgs boson is ‘The God particle’. The name gives the impression that the Higgs boson is the central particle of the Standard Model, governing its structure. But this is very far from the truth...  The Higgs sector is that part of the theory that describes the Higgs mechanism and contains the Higgs boson. Unlike the rest of the theory, the Higgs sector is rather arbitrary, and its form is not dictated by any deep fundamental principle. For this reason its structure looks frightfully ad hoc."

He goes on to say that mass is the intrinsic energy of a body at rest, and talks about E=mc˛ wherein Einstein said the mass of a body is a measure of its energy-content. He then says the Higgs mechanism gives quarks their mass, but that quarks only comprise 1% of the mass of matter, and ends up saying this:

"In summary, the Higgs mechanism accounts for about 1 per cent of the mass of ordinary matter, and for only 0.2 per cent of the mass of the universe. This is not nearly enough to justify the claim of explaining the origin of mass".

Also see Particle headache: Why the Higgs could spell disaster. This was written by Matthew Chalmers and appeared in the 12 November 2012 New Scientist. Note this:

"The minimal standard model Higgs is like a fairy tale," says Guido Altarelli of CERN near Geneva, Switzerland. "It is a toy model to make the theory match the data, a crutch to allow the standard model to walk a bit further until something better comes along."

Personally I think there will be developments wherein the Higgs field is shown to be the photon field, and mass is shown to be the flip side of momentum wherein E=mc˛ is responsible for 100% of mass. But progress is slow, there's not much common ground between the Standard Model and Relativity, so this might take a while.
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: How does the Higgs Boson get mass?
« Reply #2 on: 21/10/2014 11:06:25 »
The Higgs Boson is a relatively heavy particle - almost as heavy as the thymine molecule of the DNA, apparently. If the Higgs Boson is responsible for the Higgs field, which is what imparts mass to matter, what then is imparting mass to the Higgs Boson itself?
I've been told (by someone who studies particle physics) that the Higgs can interact with itself, i.e. it can be seen as Higgs bosons interacting (or, I suppose, a Higgs boson interacting with the Higgs field), and this is what gives it mass. The Higgs effect only gives rest mass to the elementary particles; the bulk of the mass of everyday matter (about 99%) consists of the binding energy between the particles that make it up.
 

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Re: How does the Higgs Boson get mass?
« Reply #2 on: 21/10/2014 11:06:25 »

 

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