What is Higgs: Definition and 682 Discussions

In the Standard Model of particle physics, the Higgs mechanism is essential to explain the generation mechanism of the property "mass" for gauge bosons. Without the Higgs mechanism, all bosons (one of the two classes of particles, the other being fermions) would be considered massless, but measurements show that the W+, W−, and Z0 bosons actually have relatively large masses of around 80 GeV/c2. The Higgs field resolves this conundrum. The simplest description of the mechanism adds a quantum field (the Higgs field) that permeates all space to the Standard Model. Below some extremely high temperature, the field causes spontaneous symmetry breaking during interactions. The breaking of symmetry triggers the Higgs mechanism, causing the bosons it interacts with to have mass. In the Standard Model, the phrase "Higgs mechanism" refers specifically to the generation of masses for the W±, and Z weak gauge bosons through electroweak symmetry breaking. The Large Hadron Collider at CERN announced results consistent with the Higgs particle on 14 March 2013, making it extremely likely that the field, or one like it, exists, and explaining how the Higgs mechanism takes place in nature.
The mechanism was proposed in 1962 by Philip Warren Anderson, following work in the late 1950s on symmetry breaking in superconductivity and a 1960 paper by Yoichiro Nambu that discussed its application within particle physics.
A theory able to finally explain mass generation without "breaking" gauge theory was published almost simultaneously by three independent groups in 1964: by Robert Brout and François Englert; by Peter Higgs; and by Gerald Guralnik, C. R. Hagen, and Tom Kibble. The Higgs mechanism is therefore also called the Brout–Englert–Higgs mechanism, or Englert–Brout–Higgs–Guralnik–Hagen–Kibble mechanism, Anderson–Higgs mechanism, Anderson–Higgs–Kibble mechanism, Higgs–Kibble mechanism by Abdus Salam and ABEGHHK'tH mechanism (for Anderson, Brout, Englert, Guralnik, Hagen, Higgs, Kibble, and 't Hooft) by Peter Higgs. The Higgs mechanism in electrodynamics was also discovered independently by Eberly and Reiss in reverse
as the "gauge" Dirac field mass gain due to the artificially displaced electromagnetic field as a Higgs field.On 8 October 2013, following the discovery at CERN's Large Hadron Collider of a new particle that appeared to be the long-sought Higgs boson predicted by the theory, it was announced that Peter Higgs and François Englert had been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics.

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  1. M

    A Higgs inflation and quadratic gravity

    After the news of Peter Higgs's death, I was thinking of the Higgs field and boson, how central they are to physics now, and the remaining mysteries associated with them. One such is the meaning of the mass actually observed for the Higgs boson. In the mainstream of theoretical physics, the...
  2. omerel

    Higgs boson re-discovery from a CERN dataset (for a project)

    Hi everyone! I'm working on a seminar project on elementary particles, and I'm supposed to introduce the LHC and rediscover the Higgs boson from a dataset I got from CERN open source. I don't understand how am I supposed to discover the gap (in the invariant mass diagram) around the Higgs boson...
  3. ohwilleke

    I New Constraints On The Higgs Boson Width

    The New Measurement The ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has experimentally limited the "width" of the Standard Model Higgs boson with a rest mass of about 125 GeV to 4.5 + 3.3 - 2.5 MeV, with a maximum value of 10.5 MeV at a 95% confidence level. In the Standard Model, the...
  4. D

    I Higgs decay to Z and Z* at LHC

    Goodmornig.I would like to explain me What is the Z* at higgs decay and why it has different mass from Z ?
  5. arivero

    I Is Connes' Model of the Higgs Field a Wormhole?

    As this week the great topic is the Einstein-Rosen bridge and duals of it, I wonder what happened with the interpretation of Connes NCG model as two sheets of spacetime whose separation is measured by the higgs field. How is it different of a ER bridge?
  6. R

    Book Recommendation for learning about the Higgs Boson (layman level)

    Summary: Non-Mathematical Description of the Higgs Boson I seek a recommendation for a book written for the layman describing the physics of the Higgs boson and related topics. Books that I have found tend towards the history leading up to the discovery of the Higgs or biographies of Peter...
  7. S

    I Explaining how the Higgs fields gives particles mass

    Physicists say the Higgs Field is like syrup and slows particles down from the speed of light. Wouldn’t it be easier and more correct to say there are no particles, just fields, and the strength of the coupling of the electron, photon, quark etc. fields with the Higgs field determines their...
  8. JandeWandelaar

    A What is the cause of the Mexican hat potential of the Higgs field?

    The Higgs mechanism is an ingenious mechanism inspired by condensed state physics. The famous Mexican hat potential ensures a VEV value of about two times the mass of the Higgs particle (which, as an aside, is of comparable order as the W and Z vector bosons, the difference though is that its a...
  9. PainterGuy

    I Does the Higgs Field Consist of Higgs Bosons?

    Hi, I'd request you to keep it simple so it's accessible by a layman. Question 1: Is Higgs field made up of Higgs bosons? Higgs field has a positive value everywhere. Other fields such as electron field, hover around zero though virtual particles come into existence and decay almost...
  10. Isopod

    A CDF measures W mass higher than predicted

    The team has found that the particle, known as a W boson, is more massive than the theories predicted. The result has been described as "shocking" by Prof David Tobak, who is the project co-spokesperson. The discovery could lead to the development of a new, more complete theory of how the...
  11. K

    I Higgs inflation and primordial black holes

    I've found highly cited papers that explains inflation with the Higgs as the inflaton and primordial black hole as the dark matter, for examples, These papers solve the inflation with the Higgs and Dark matter with PBH without introducing new particles. Primordial Black Hole production in...
  12. A

    B Higgs field and nuclear reactions

    What happens to the higgs field when say a fusion reaction occurs. Like if mass is converted into energy and the higgs field gives a particle mass what happens to higgs field. I doubt this, but is the higgs field the mechanism that converts mass into gamma rays. Go easy on me I only have a high...
  13. fresh_42

    A Is the Higgs really not as heavy as we thought?

    I am not quite sure whether this is scientifically as interesting as it reads, but I think it is worth a closer look.Raffaele Tito D’Agnolo and Daniele Teresi Abstract: We present a novel framework to solve simultaneously the electroweak-hierarchy problem and the strong CP problem. A small but...
  14. 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 of...
  15. P

    A Why is the Higgs mechanism needed?

    Here's my current understanding of mass terms. For scalar fields, a mass term flows under RG to larger values in the IR. This implies having mass values in the theory is unnatural because it has to be fine tuned at the UV level to get the correct observed mass at low energy (the term I think...
  16. Tertius

    A Higgs field was zero right after Big Bang, could it return to zero?

    Quote from cern: "Just after the big bang, the Higgs field was zero, but as the universe cooled and the temperature fell below a critical value, the field grew spontaneously so that any particle interacting with it acquired a mass." Can it go back to zero? If anyone has a comment either way...
  17. 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...
  18. M

    A New string formulae for Higgs mass and cosmological constant

    https://arxiv.org/abs/2106.04622 Calculating the Higgs Mass in String Theory Steven Abel, Keith R. Dienes [Submitted on 8 Jun 2021] There are at least two properties of the Higgs mass one might hope to explain with such a fundamental calculation: its criticality, and its participation in...
  19. JD_PM

    A Branching ratios | Higgs phenomenology

    Hi everyone! I am studying Higgs phenomenology, in particular its BRs My line of reasoning is this: I first had a look at the decays where the Higgs particle couples directly (i.e. without intermediate particles) to the products; those are ##H^0 \to b \bar b, \ H^0 \to \tau \bar \tau##...
  20. J

    B Does the Higgs Boson really have 0 spin?

    Does the Higgs Boson really have 0 spin or is the spin between 0 and 1/2 x (1.054 571 817... x 10-34 J s)?
  21. S

    B Why Photon & Gluon are Exceptions from Higgs Field

    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?
  22. M

    I Can a Higgs boson decay into two top quarks off-shell?

    Hello! I haven't really seen a feynman diagram with a higgs boson decaying to a top-anti top quark pair. The mass of a top pair is much higher than the Higgs mass on shell, but is there any reason why we can't have a Higgs boson (very) off-shell decay to 2 top quarks. The probability of that...
  23. 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?
  24. DarkMattrHole

    B Regarding the coherence of a photon pair decaying from Higgs

    Hi all. I have been reading the following article and have a couple of basic questions about the decay of the Higgs into photons process - https://www.physicsforums.com/insights/lhc-part-4-searching-new-particles-decays/ As i understand this decay - the photons will have the same frequency and...
  25. S

    Rigorous Study of the Higgs Boson - Question

    Summary:: I would like to ask about books and other materials to study in order to understand in a really, really rigorous manner the Higgs field, Higgs boson and other related topics. Answers that are detailed but at the same time precise and to the point would be highly appreciated (please...
  26. I

    A Predicting the positive parity and zero spin of the Higgs boson?

    Can we predict the positive parity, and zero spin of the Higgs boson from the decay mode: 𝐻 → 𝛾𝛾?
  27. hyksos

    I Higgsino: The Supersymmetric Partner of the Higgs - What You Need to Know

    Supersymmetric partners are expected to only pair off with "fundamental" particles of the Standard Model. (photon, W, Z, gluons, leptons, quarks, graviton). In all those canonical particles, the SUSY partner is significantly more massive than its counterpart. Internet sources suggest that...
  28. K

    I Why Does the Higgs Boson Prefer to Decay into W Bosons Over Z Bosons?

    Hello! In the (famous) plot I attached we have the branches ratios for the Higgs decay for different Higgs masses. I am sure that sitting down and doing the Feynman diagram calculation (to 1 or 2 next to leading order?) I will get these curves. But I am a bit confused about the physics intuition...
  29. Ranku

    I Higgs Boson: What Gave Quarks & Leptons Mass?

    The Higgs boson with mass couples to quarks and leptons to give them mass. What was the nature of these particles before they acquired mass? Were they virtual particles?
  30. e2m2a

    A The Higgs Field, constant velocity, and the acceleration of particles

    I need some clarification on how the Higgs field work. The popular science explanation explains the effect on moving particles the way an object would be impacted by moving through a medium of maple syrup. I understand this is a very bad, inaccurate analogy. What I want to understand is does...
  31. L

    B How does the Higgs field “Give mass”?

    Problem Statement: How does the Higgs field “give mass” Relevant Equations: The exact way that particles interact with the Higgs field and therefore create mass. I’m trying to figure out how the Higgs field works, one problem is that while I originally though of the Higgs field like a medium...
  32. 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 ±...
  33. G

    B Why is the Higgs not considered 'a 5th force'?

    In basic physics books the standard model used to be split in 'matter' (fermions) and 'force carriers' (bosons), and there are 4 fundamental forces, gravity, weak, strong and electromagnetic. If the Higgs is a boson, why is it not considered as a force carrier and the Higgs be considered a '5th...
  34. K

    I What Does the Shape of the Higgs Potential Tell Us?

    Hello! I am going to talk here about a real scalar field for simplicity. If we have a Higgs-like potential for a real scalar field, the graph of the potential looks like a section of a "Mexican hat", with a bump at 0 and two absolute minima at, say, ##\pm a##. This is the plot I see in any book...
  35. BadgerBadger92

    I Understanding Light, Mass & Higgs Field: Exploring Object Behaviour

    What happens to an object when you negate the Higgs field to give an object zero mass? Does it behave like light and travel instantly without force (or is there a gap here?) I heard if you took away mass from something like a baseball it would just float. How does this reconcile with the...
  36. S

    B LHC -- Why no success except for the Higgs?

    Why aren’t we seeing anything. 99.99991% the speed of light. Nothing. Also why would we need and lhc the size of galaxy to see graviton? Help?
  37. Spinnor

    I A Fermion interacts with the Higgs field

    In a blog post of Matt Strassler we are told about the top quark, "when the Higgs field is not zero, its presence, and the fact that it has a direct interaction with the top-left and the top-right, forces the top-left to convert over to a top-right, and back again. How often does this happen...
  38. Spinnor

    I Masses of Fermions, string theory, Higgs mechanism

    Take the first family of fundamental fermions, u, d, e-, and ν. The u and d are more massive than the e- and the e- is more massive than the ν. The u and d interact via 4 forces, the e- interacts via 3 forces, and the ν interacts via 2 forces. The fermions that interact via the most forces are...
  39. O

    A Deriving the Unitary Gauge of the Higgs Mechanism

    Dear @ll, the central point (for the unitary gauge) in the higgs-mechanism is the equality Φ = (v + η + iξ) = (v + η)ei(ξ/v) (see for example Halzen, Martin: Quarks and Leptons, eq. 14.56) Φ = complex scalar Field v = vacuum that breaks the symmetry spontaneously η,ξ = shifted...
  40. T

    I Higgs Boson decay to two Quarks Detected

  41. A

    B Why is the Higgs boson considered a boson?

    Bosons are described as force carrier particles and, as I understand it, the Higgs mechanism explains why photons are massless, just as all the carriers of the strong nuclear force, the gluons, whereas the weak force bosons have mass. A peculiar type of field is postulated, the ‘Higgs field’. It...
  42. A

    A Exploring the Effects of a Decreasing Higgs Field on Universe Evolution

    I assume that before the Big Bang, there was no Higgs Field, since there was no universe for it to fill. I assume that at the moment of the Big Bang, it began to seep into every corner of the expanding universe and was carried by inflation, that is, moving faster than the speed of light by the...
  43. J

    Higgs Experiment for new particle (decay widths)

    < Mentor Note -- thread moved to HH from the technical physics forums, so no HH Template is shown > Question: An experiment is proposed to directly measure the width (Γ) and mass (m_H) of the Higgs boson via the reaction: muon+ + muon- > H. Sketch a graph of the expected cross section as a...
  44. Pouya Pourkarim

    I Higgs Field and Inertia: Exploring the Relationship and Possible Explanations

    Is there any way to approach to some kind of explanation for inertia,from higgs field?
  45. R

    A Mass of Higgs, W and Z bosons going to zero at high energies

    Hi Everyone! Hope everyone is really enjoying pushing the Physics frontiers! Really need some help here. In the Electroweak sector of the Standard Model, it is apparently the case that the success of renormalisation to remove the Ultraviolet Divergence relies on the fact that at high energies...
  46. ChrisVer

    A Is the Higgs Field Potential Still Symmetric Post-Electroweak Symmetry Breaking?

    Hi, a fast question... I was having somekind of a discussion, and I actually hit a dead end to the way I could explain my statement. I believe that after the Higgs Mechanism and SSB, the resulting potential of the Higgs Field should no longer be symmetric to rotations : I am saying this because...
  47. ryan liberty

    I Metastability of the Higgs field

    One current theory surrounding the higgs field is that it might be metastable, as in it acts stable but could (through quantum tunneling) drop it's energy level to become truly stable. This drop in energy would release all of the potential energy contained in the field. This is of course vacuum...
  48. J

    What Sci-Fi Stories Explore Harnessing the Higgs Field for Energy?

    What sci-fi story (tv, movies, etc.) has been written that involves tapping the higgs field? Do you know there is a constant 246 GeV everywhere.. our mass is only very very tiny portion occupying space so there is a great amount of untapped energy there... Our particles tap the energy of the...
  49. M

    A Shaposhnikov and Hossenfelder, Higgs and MOND

    We had two papers yesterday making big claims in the realm of minimal BSM theory. http://arxiv.org/abs/1803.08907 Conformal symmetry: towards the link between the Fermi and the Planck scales Mikhail Shaposhnikov, Andrey Shkerin (Submitted on 23 Mar 2018) If the mass of the Higgs boson is put...