Higgs boson Definition and 115 Discussions

The Higgs boson is an elementary particle in the Standard Model of particle physics produced by the quantum excitation of the Higgs field, one of the fields in particle physics theory. In the Standard Model, the Higgs particle is a massive scalar boson with zero spin, no electric charge, and no colour charge. It is also very unstable, decaying into other particles almost immediately.
It is named after physicist Peter Higgs, who in 1964 along with five other scientists proposed the Higgs mechanism to explain why some particles have mass. (Particles acquire mass in several ways, but a full explanation for all particles had been extremely difficult.) This mechanism required that a spinless particle known as a boson should exist with properties as described by the Higgs Mechanism theory. This particle was called the Higgs boson. A subatomic particle with the expected properties was discovered in 2012 by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland. The new particle was subsequently confirmed to match the expected properties of a Higgs boson.
On 10 December 2013, two of the physicists, Peter Higgs and François Englert, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their theoretical predictions. Although Higgs's name has come to be associated with this theory (the Higgs mechanism), several researchers between about 1960 and 1972 independently developed different parts of it.
In the mainstream media, the Higgs boson has often been called the "God particle" from the 1993 book The God Particle by Nobel Laureate Leon Lederman, although the nickname is
not endorsed by many physicists.

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  1. C

    I Zero spin of Higgs boson? Is it really zero?

    Zero spin of Higgs boson? Is it really zero? Where is the spin (intrinsic angular momentum) of the Higgs boson on so small that we quantify it as having zero spin? I am aware of the reduced plank constant. But I we sure there is nothing in between the reduce Planck’s constant and the zero spin...
  2. P

    I Is the Higgs field in its present form phlogiston-like?

    Phlogiston lead to the discovery of oxygen but was later on proven to be imaginary. Can the same be said of the quite strange Higgs field and Higgs mechanism following from the strange Mexican hat potential? Is that potential just imaginary? It lead to the discovery of the eponimous particle...
  3. S

    B Photon, gluon, Higgs

    The photon and the gluon in the Standard Model do not interact with the Higgs field and are hence massless and travel at the speed of light. Is there a simple explanation why these two elementary particles are the exceptions?
  4. Adams2020

    A Higgs particle and non-zero expected value in vacuum

    What does the phrase “Due to Lorentz invariance, only the Higgs particle can have a non-zero expected value in a vacuum” mean?
  5. The Higgs Discovery Explained - Episode 3.5 | CERN

    The Higgs Discovery Explained - Episode 3.5 | CERN

    In this extra episode of the series we answer a few of the most frequently asked questions from the viewers. You can watch the previous episodes here: https:...
  6. F

    A Relation between chirality and spin

    When learning about chirality I was very surprised to find that for QED and QCD the decay modes that would produce 2 particles with the same chirality had a Matrix Element of 0, which I took to mean that angular momentum was being conserved. Even the W only decay into RH antiparticles and LH...
  7. ohwilleke

    I How Much Better Will Top and Higgs Mass Measurements Get?

    The ATLAS and CMS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) recently released joint annual review papers regarding their measurements of the properties of the top quark and the Higgs boson, including their masses, respectively. The most recent mass measurement of the top quark are 172.51 ±...
  8. T

    I Higgs Boson decay to two Quarks Detected

  9. H

    B The relation between mass,higgs boson, and boson field?

    In school we learn that mass is made of the amount of particles within an object!. but then we have found something called higgs boson and boson field which is said to be responsible for an object mass. I have read how higgs boson and boson field work but I still don't understand how the higgs...
  10. Beyond the Higgs: What's Next for the LHC? - with Harry Cliff

    Beyond the Higgs: What's Next for the LHC? - with Harry Cliff

    Harry Cliff is the Science Museum Fellow of Modern Science, which he reckons might be the only job title which begins and ends with 'science'. He spends half his time searching for signs of new physics at LHCb, one of the four big experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider.
  11. Beyond the Higgs: What's Next for the LHC? - with Harry Cliff (Question and Answers)

    Beyond the Higgs: What's Next for the LHC? - with Harry Cliff (Question and Answers)

  12. Serra Nova

    B What does the Higgs particle consist of?

    The Higgs particle that were discovered in 2012 - what is it build of?
  13. ohwilleke

    B The Latest Higgs Boson Mass Measurements

    It is summer conference season for physicists and one of the highlights this time around is the first set of new Large Hadron Collider Run-2 measurements of the Higgs boson mass. The Status Quo At the end of Run-1 at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the combined estimate of the Higgs boson...
  14. J

    A How can gauge symmetry be broken?

    Hello, I was reading about the Higgs mechanism and I must say that I did not really follow the argument of how the gauge symmetry is broken. I think that my problem has to do with the more general question of how does a gauge symmetry get broken in general? Thanks!
  15. Biscuit

    Senior Project Research Paper

    For my senior project I am writing a paper on the Higgs Boson. Whatever project we decide to do we have to have an accompanying research paper. I am unable to write about anything that I mention in my paper (everything involving the Higgs). What are some related topics that I could do my second...
  16. ohwilleke

    I Higgs Boson Mass Trending Down At ICHEP

    The latest measurement of the Higgs boson mass from the ICHEP conference (based upon four lepton events measured by CMS) was 124.5 +0.48/-0.46 GeV. This is less than the current global average of about 125.09 +/- 0.24 GeV, which is statistically consistent with the global average but will...
  17. Ranku

    I Instability of the Higgs particle

    In the multiverse paradigm, the Higgs particle is said to be unstable. What does the instability of the Higgs particle mean? Could it spontaneously disappear? What are the conditions for something like that to happen? And what would be the fate of the universe if that were to happen - keeping in...
  18. dschwie

    I Higgs particle vs. Higgs field

    Does it make sense to say that the Higgs boson is an excitation in the Higgs field in much the same way that a fermion such as an electron is an excitation in the electromagnetic field? I am trying to understand the difference between the Higgs field, which is everywhere, and the Higgs boson...
  19. zdroide

    B H boson is 125 GeV, super symmetry, multiverse not possible?

    What other theories this number make impossible or improbable. When final number was given I hear some older physicist saying for one " 40 years of works gone" second grinding "only 30 for me!" We are ask to follow establish science. Seem to me that lots of theories was built on other's ones and...
  20. Peter25samaha

    A The higgs boson discovery

    What can a theoretical physicist discover something new about the higgs boson . This is for experimentalist but can a theoretical physicist discover anything new about the higgs boson ? And what peter higgs discovered other than detected it . He is a theoretical physicist did he wrote a new...
  21. onion3000

    Weight related to speed

    If interactions with the Higgs field make something have more mass, and if movement creates interactions with the field, then wouldn't something at absolute zero have no weight (zero speed, so no interaction with the Higgs field)?
  22. H

    Scalar fields and the Higgs boson

    This is more of a QFT question, so the moderator may want to move it to another forum. The simplest example of a QFT that I learned was the scalar field; in Sakurai's 1967 text book. I know the Higgs is a J=0 particle. Is it described by the simple scalar field discussed in Sakurai's text? I...
  23. S

    The Higgs Boson analogy

    i was thinking about the Higgs Boson analogy that was put forward to help describe how it works/interacts to produce mass, of a very famous person walking into a party, everyone gathers round impedes progress, high interaction with Higgs field and particles therefore high mass, and then a less...
  24. Marc Brown

    How do Physicists know the Higgs Field imparts mass?

    I can understand using calculations to determine if a particular quark configuration will work and not decay instantly, but how do calculations determine which particles or fields will have a specific influence over space-time if they weren't able to control the particle or field at will? How...
  25. N

    Resting masses of isolated neutrons versus neutrons in atoms

    I'm a high school student reading through a book on the discovery of the Higgs boson, and, among several other things, there's one part that I don't understand completely. I understand that the Higgs field is what gives mass to lots of particles that would otherwise be the same without the...
  26. QuantumKangaroo

    Difference between Photons and the Higgs Boson?

    I'm new to quantum physics, and this might be a stupid question. What is the difference between Photons and the Higgs Boson? I know that neither of them interact with the Higgs field. And that when CERN found the Higgs Boson, it decayed into other particles INCLUDING photons. So what's the...
  27. G

    Higgs field and my non-physicist friend

    I have heard many physicists in the media attempt to describe the Higgs boson in terms of analogies. Many seem to my amateur physicist mind to fall down immediately. One such analogy is that particles with mass interact with the Higgs field as if swimming through treacle. This is particularly...
  28. andres0l1

    W_L-W_R Mixing in the Left-Right Symmetric Model

    Homework Statement The question is how to get the mass term for the W Gauge bosons within the Left Right Symmetric Model (LRSM). My main struggle is with the Left-Right Mixing part. So the LRSM has the gauge group $SU(2)_L\times SU(2)_R \times U(1)_{B-L}$ and with an additional discrete...
  29. ohwilleke

    TOEs without GUTs

    Normally, we think about a grand unified theory (GUT) that unifies the standard model forces and particles into an overarching unified framework, as a pre-requisite to a theory of everything (TOE) which adds quantum gravity to a GUT. But, developments of both beyond the Standard Model physics...
  30. H

    Does the higgs mechanism explain the observed masses of sub particles?

    I was wondering if there are any theories that show how much mass the higgs field gives to each particle and why? I am specifically wondering about the observed masses for each particles rest mass. Does the higgs mechanism give mass in quanta, and if so is there a reason for the amounts?
  31. J

    Higgs mechanism and relativity

    Hi all, Having looked into the Higgs mechanism a bit (I am a physics undergrad, so my understanding is pretty basic if even correct), I have come up with a question. I understand that the way that the Higgs field gives mass to the W and Z bosons is different to the way that it gives leptons...
  32. rpthomps

    Understanding the need for the Higgs Field

    Hello, I am a layman who just read Sean Carroll's The Particle at the End of the Universe and I am trying to understand what I think is the crux of the book, the need for the Higg's boson according to the Standard model. This is my thought process: 1. The weak interaction only interacts...
  33. F

    How many higgs particles are there in the universe

    And does not their mass add to the mass (or energy) of the universe? Does that not create problems in cosmological models ? I know about the Dark energy/higgs conjecture, but that is NOT my question.
  34. TrickyDicky

    Higgs boson semantic questions

    The first question is why it is sometimes called the "Higgs meson"?-even by its discoverers, see recent controversy about the particle's name and the proposal to call it "standard model scalar meson", isn't a meson a composite particle while the particle detected by the LHC supposed to be...
  35. S

    Why was Higgs not discovered at Tevatron?

    As far as I can tell Tevatron was able to identify relative to background an excess in decay processes in the range from 105 to 145 GeV. But what was different with Tevatron that didn't allow it to discover the Higgs before the LHC? The LHC had double the CM-energy but the Higgs could've still...
  36. Z

    Higgs boson decays to Bottom/Anti-Bottom then what?

    The charts at CERN show calculations that a 126 GeV Higgs boson is expected to decay to a bottom/anti-bottom quark combination 56% of the time. Do they mean as an Upsilon Meson which decays in a certain pattern according to the wiki meson decay charts? Or, do they mean independent bottom and...
  37. N

    One quick question about Higgs boson and supersymmetry

    Peter Higgs is going to get a Nobel prize for physics, since Higgs boson's existence was confirmed in the experiments in CERN. But I do have some questions: I read the following, but I'm not qualified to say if this is true or not, so I'm asking you for help, and if the following statement is...
  38. ZapperZ

    MOOC on The Discovery of the Higgs Boson

    MOOC on "The Discovery of the Higgs Boson" The University of Edinburgh is offering a massive online open course on "The Discovery of the Higgs Boson" to the public. This is a 7-week course, with 2 hours per week of online presentation. After this, there should be no more whining from people...
  39. my2cts

    Higgs model predicts a universe the size of a football.

    Veltman states that the cosmological constant in the Higgs model takes the form C= m2M2 / 8g2 , which is way too large. In fact, the universe should be about the size of a theorists head or a football. http://igitur-archive.library.uu.nl/...temVeltman.pdf [Broken] He states that "since the...
  40. F

    Higgs Mechanism and Black Holes

    If seems to me that the conditions in the early universe which led to the activation of the Higgs field might be found inside a black hole, but in reverse. This might explain the mystery of infinite density inside a black hole, uniting Gen Rel and QM. Might a black hole then be a baby universe...
  41. C

    Why was the LHC required to find the Higgs?

    If the Higgs is around 126 GeV, why was the LHC required to find it, when the Tevatron is capable of 1 TeV collisions and had already found the top quark which is quite a bit heavier? Is this because of something special about proton-proton collisions? Thanks! PS Please don't say "they did...
  42. Z

    Higgs Decay Modes

    Under the Higgs in wiki it says "Another possibility is for the Higgs to split into a pair of massive gauge bosons. The most likely possibility is for the Higgs to decay into a pair of W bosons (the light blue line in the plot), which happens about 23.1% of the time for a Higgs boson with a mass...
  43. M

    Frampton & Hung's Higgs mass ansatz

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1310.3904 A Possible Reason for MH ≃ 126 GeV Paul H. Frampton, Pham Q. Hung (Submitted on 15 Oct 2013) It is speculated that a possible reason for the scalar mass MH ≃ 126 GeV is equality of the lifetimes for vacuum decay and instanton-induced proton decay.
  44. M

    The homogeneous strength of the Higgs field

    Dear Physics Forum, As I understand it, the Higgs field is a quantum field that stretches throughout our universe. Particles that carry mass (for example protons and electrons) acquire this property by interacting with the (local) Higgs field. I assume this interaction can be written in the...
  45. K

    Higgs boson's mechanism for giving mass?

    What is the Higgs boson's mechanism for giving mass?
  46. L

    Which interaction does the Higgs field rely on?

    Dear Physics Forum, can anyone tell me which of the fundamental interactions is involved in the Higgs Field? Or is it a new and unique type of interaction apart from the fundamental 4?
  47. C

    Did the Higgs Boson boost undergraduate physics enrollment?

    I am writing about some crazy hypothesis I have about the impact the quest for the Higgs Boson, thereafter designated as HB, might have had on the number of people who declared physics majors during the years following its discovery. The preliminary data I have concerns two universities in my...
  48. J

    Elementary particles pre-Higgs coupling

    My question relates to the very origin of the elementary particles. I understand that the Higgs field breaks the mass symmetry of the elementary particles and that the Higgs field-based mass value for each particle is dependent upon the strength of interaction between each elementary particle...
  49. F

    Higgs Mechanism, how does it work?

    I'm not sure this thread belongs in this forum since we have now discovered a Higgs like boson. But I'm trying to get a better understanding of how the Higgs mechanism works. Let me share what I think I know, and you tell me how far off I am. Particles gain mass as they travel through the...
  50. Safinaz

    Higgs production and PDF

    Hi all, I try to calculate the Higgs production cross section by Mathematica using for example the formula in [arXiv:hep-ph/0503172]. The problem comes when I calculate " σ_0 " it's of order 10^-10 pb at mh = 125 GeV ( 3.57), then when I convolute with the parton distribution function to get...