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Dark energy vectors scalars higgs field

  1. May 23, 2004 #1
    What is the difference between a scalar field and a vector field?
    If I had a point mass with vectors pointing in all directions from its surface
    the field of the mass could be said to have a magnitude and direction in all directions.I could call this a scalar because it is different from a vector which has a magnitude in one direction.So is a scalar just a set of vectors?
    Can a scalar place all its vector arrows in the same direction and become a normal vector?
    I ask this because if cosmic microwave background photons redshift because they emit energy that becomes dark energy, then presumably the energy they yield is vector-like because the photons are vector-like, and it has to become scalar in nature - dark energy is usually modelled by scalar fields.In other words the photons must yield many vectors that can be arranged together at one place in space and point in all directions.
    Also, could dark energy be the Higgs field - would movement through a scalar dark energy field produce inertial mass?
    Last edited: May 23, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. May 23, 2004 #2


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    A scalar field has one component, a (complex) number field having a value at each point of spacetime. A vector field has four components at each point, satisfying the definition and coordinate change behavior of a relativistic four-vector. Locally, it's a question of degrees of freedom, which enters into the statistics and therefore into the observable behavior of the particles. Physicists are able to tell which particles are which from experimental measurements.
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