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Difference between Photons and the Higgs Boson?

  1. Jun 16, 2015 #1
    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 difference?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 16, 2015 #2
    Quite a lot of processes including simple things such as an incandescent light bulb, emit photons.
    It doesn't follow from that, that therefore the decay of Higgs, or an atomic nucleus, or any other object which emits photons must itself be a photon in some form.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2015
  4. Jun 16, 2015 #3


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    It also decays into practically everything else that's energetically allowed - bottom-antibottom pairs, charm-anti-charm pairs, W bosons, Z bosons. In fact, photon decay is a relatively rare process, but it's a nice clean signature. When particles decay into other particles, that doesn't mean that they "contain" them in any sense.

    As for photons vs Higgses? Well, photons are the carriers of the EM force, Higgses aren't. Photons are have 0 rest mass, spin 1, and negative parity, and the Higgs has a mass of ~125 GeV/c^2, spin 0 and positive parity.

    Just about the only thing they have in common is being chargeless bosons, but even then, the Photon is a vector boson, whist the Higgs is the scalar boson.
  5. Jun 17, 2015 #4


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    There is no similarity...

    The higgs boson does not couple to photons directly but indirectly, via an effective coupling.
  6. Jun 17, 2015 #5


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    Photons are the quanta of electromagnetic field. So when you turn on electric or magnetic field it's basically filled up with photons. The Higgs particle is the analog of the same thing with Higgs field. There are also the differences In properties of the particles like Higgs are spin zero objects whereas photons are spin one ... The most spectacular difference is Higgs is massive and photon is massless which gives photons an extra symmetry (namely gauge invariance)..
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