Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Electroweak theory: difference between photon and Z-boson

  1. Aug 1, 2012 #1
    The electroweak theory describes the photon and vector bosons (Z0, W+, W-) as mixtures of bosons from the electroweak interactions (weak hypercharge and weak isospin). In addition, the vector bosons mix also with the Higgs bosons and thus gain mass. Photon does not mix with the Higgs, so it remains massless.

    My question is what causes the difference between the photon and Z0. Both photon and Z0 rise as a mixture of the same particles (W3 and the hypercharge boson), the only difference is that Z0 also gets the Higgs. So what makes the Z0 mix additionally with the Higgs? And what prevents the photon from mixing with the Higgs too and become massive?

    The problem might be that I don't perfectly understand the details of particle mixing...
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 1, 2012 #2

    Bill_K

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    We make choices in the definition of the Higgs field that result in this. Quoting myself from a recent thread:

     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Electroweak theory: difference between photon and Z-boson
Loading...