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Graviton vs Higgs boson

  1. Jan 29, 2013 #1
    How can we propose the existence of a massless graviton when the recent discovery of the higgs boson means that there is a Higgs field that endows everything with mass? Doesn't the higgs field disprove the graviton? In that case, we would now have no idea where gravity fundamentally comes from, right?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 29, 2013 #2


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    No, that is not an implication of the Higgs mechanism. It gives a mass to quarks, leptons, the Z and W boson and the Higgs boson, but not to gluons, photons or (hypothetical) gravitons.
  4. Jan 29, 2013 #3


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    Well, we still have no idea about that...
  5. Jan 29, 2013 #4
    Any idea why photons and gluons are unaffected by the field? I know photons and gluons are considered massless, but by definition doesn't the field endow particles with mass? Is it the photons and gluons' extremely small size that allows it to pass through the field or between it's energy? That part is confusing to me
  6. Jan 29, 2013 #5


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    No, it does not. Please disabuse yourself of that notion. :wink:

    The role played by the Higgs field is to break electroweak symmetry. As a side effect, it allows those particles that participate in the weak interaction to have mass. Gluons do not feel the weak force, and are for that reason unaffected. Photons remain massless basically because the Higgs field is neutral, and so the vacuum remains invariant under the electromagnetic gauge,

    This topic has been discussed here many, many times before. If you look down at the bottom of this page you will find links to some of the earlier discussions.
  7. Jan 30, 2013 #6
    here is a post by Sam which clarifies the idea of photon not getting mass in electroweak symmetry breaking
  8. Jan 30, 2013 #7


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    It's rather simple: Experiments tell us that photons and gluons are massless, whereas W and Z become massive; therefore the Higgs coupling to these gauge bosons has been constructed such that the result is exactly what we observe: photons and gluons stay massless, whereas W and Z become massive.
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