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Can we say the Higgs is 'the originator of Time'?

  1. Apr 15, 2015 #1
    Some popular explanations of the Higgs boson go something like this:
    'Without the Higgs, all the energy bits we call fundamental particles would be moving at the speed of light and could not interact with each other, nothing would 'happen'. The interaction with the Higgs field give those particle mass, slowing them down to sub-luminal speed and allowing them to interact in time.'

    Now, I presume that in a Universe where all particles moved at the speed of light, it would be rather meaningless to talk about Time (even if a Time dimension should exist for those particles to have any 'speed'). Nothing would 'happen' (or as someone said, everything would happen at once).

    From this point of view, could we say that the Higgs is the cause for Time being a discernible dimension in our Universe? I mean, our Universe might have a Time dimension intrinsically, but Time as we know it (i.e. 'the passage of Time') exists only because of the Higgs field and its interaction with leptons and quarks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 15, 2015 #1

    Orodruin

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    What popular explanations? Please provide references.

    Essentially the rest is not coherent with mainstream science and sounds like crackpot musings.
     
  4. jcsd
  5. Apr 15, 2015 #2
    http://www.particlecentral.com/higgs_page.html

    "One can think of the Higgs Field as a very thin invisible gas (sort of like air) that completely fills the universe. Some particles traveling at the speed of light, photons for example, do not interact at all with the gas and zoom right through it continuing at the speed of light. Other particles, such as quarks, interact quite strongly with the field and slow down. To them the field is "sticky", like high humidity, and they absorb mass (weight) traveling through it at much reduced speeds. A particle's mass is simply a measure of how much it gets "bogged down" in the field. There is a whole range of masses and speeds as different particles inherently interact with the field with different strengths".
     
  6. Apr 15, 2015 #3

    Orodruin

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    I suggest not trying to infer anything on how things work through your own interpretations of popularised science. It is only bound to go awry.
    This is not what the text you just quoted says.
    The rest of your OP are personal inferences from that. Please note that personal speculation is not allowed at Physics Forums.
     
  7. Apr 15, 2015 #4
    Perhaps Fermilab is a more respectable source? o_O (check the 3rd point)

    https://www.fnal.gov/pub/presspass/press_releases/2012/files/Higgs_Boson_FAQ_July2012.pdf

    "What would the world look like without the Higgs boson or a similar particle?
    You wouldn’t recognize the world. Without the Higgs boson or something like it giving mass to the basic building blocks of matter, electrons would zip about at the speed of light. They would not form unions with protons or other would-be nuclei to make atoms. No atoms means no chemical reactions, no molecules, no ordinary matter as we know it, no template for life."
     
  8. Apr 15, 2015 #5

    Orodruin

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    I do not argue against this. I argue against your assertion
    which is false. You have taken a popularised source and made your own interpretation of what you are reading. Doing so is often prone to lead to misinterpretations as the popular science language necessarily sacrifices precision for popularity.
     
  9. Apr 15, 2015 #6
    Thanks. Do you imply that only electrons would move at the the speed of light but not the other leptons and quarks?
    Because you rejected my sentence "all the energy bits we call fundamental particles would be moving at the speed of light" but seem to agree with the Fermilab one that "electrons would zip about at the speed of light".
    If so, may I ask why only the electrons would move at the speed of light but not the other particles?
    And if not (if also the other leptons and quarks would move at the speed of light), then my interpretation seems to be at least reasonably understandable. While not explicit, the Fermilab entry seems to say that "since electrons would zip around at the speed of light they would not interact with protons to form nuclei etc".
    So perhaps a better phrasing for my OP would be "they would interact but without much relevance since they would not form anything".
     
  10. Apr 15, 2015 #7

    Nugatory

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    Fermilab press releases are still press releases. They're good for knowing the sort of things that the researchers are working on, but they are nether intended to be used nor can they be used as a base for developing further understanding or new ideas.
     
  11. Apr 15, 2015 #8

    Orodruin

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    No, I rejected the end of that sentence, which from the beginning of it was drawing the conclusion that they would not interact. The accurate statement would be that they would not form bound states.

    It is also not true that everything would be exactly massless, but that goes in into quite some theoretical depth.
     
  12. Apr 15, 2015 #9
    That's fine, no problem. So, even if leptons and quarks would not interact with the Higgs field, definite events would still happen in our Universe along its Time dimension. Particles would still interact albeit in different ways. Electrons and other particles would move around at the speed of light but this does not mean that Time would not be ticking. Definite events would still be happening along Universe's Time dimension.
     
  13. Apr 15, 2015 #10

    Orodruin

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    Yes, just as definite events occur along a photon's world line.
     
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