# I Heavier bosons and their function and detection

#### Ranku

Heavier bosons like $W$ or $H$ require high energy accelerator to be detected. Yet these bosons fulfill their function in the ambient energy of the universe. Why is it that their detection takes high energy environment but their function is possible in lower ambient energy?

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#### PeterDonis

Mentor
Heavier bosons like $W$ or $H$ require high energy accelerator to be detected.
They require a high energy experiment to be detected as separate particles. They do not require a high energy environment to function as quantum fields.

#### Ranku

They require a high energy experiment to be detected as separate particles. They do not require a high energy environment to function as quantum fields.
So can these quantum fields be equivalently seen as virtual particles, that become real detectable particles upon the impartation of high energy?

#### PeterDonis

Mentor
can these quantum fields be equivalently seen as virtual particles
Virtual particles is a much more restrictive concept than quantum fields. We have an Insights article on the limitations of the virtual particle concept:

#### weirdoguy

So can these quantum fields be equivalently seen as virtual particles,
No, these are different (but of course related) concepts. "Virtual particle" is a name for certain part of mathematics that we use when we do perturbative calculations. And this is the only place where virtual particles appear. Quantum fields are basic objects in QFT and trying to think that they can be equivalently seen as something else is not a good idea. You replace one relatively hard concept with other which you think is easier to grasp, and it's not. Fields are fields. Virtual particles are virtual particles, and real particles are yet another concept - a very specific states of the field. You can't mix those three concepts, they are important all by their own.

#### Demystifier

2018 Award
They require a high energy experiment to be detected as separate particles. They do not require a high energy environment to function as quantum fields.
W and H are like a buddhist monk. They have a very low ground state, but need a lot of external excitation to get excited.

"Heavier bosons and their function and detection"

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