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Higgs and relativity?

  1. Apr 17, 2009 #1

    I am looking for a layman's description of how the Higgs Boson is related to relativity, I've searched the forum and google but can't seem to find an answer.

    As I understand it the HB doesn't contradict the geometric interpretation of gravity (Spacetime bending and all that). So what I am curious about is how the boson actually does the "bending" and whether it works like the other force carriers or is some altogether different animal.

    Thanks for any answers!

    P.S. My guess is that the HB associates with other particles giving them mass and then via the Higgs Field influences (bends) spacetime itself. Is that along the right tracks?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 17, 2009 #2


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    Science Advisor

    The Higgs is part of the standard model of particle physics which is only consistent with special relativity (ie. relativity without gravity). There is only a partial low-energy theory of how general relativity ties in with the standard model, and people are still working on what should happen at high energies.
  4. Apr 17, 2009 #3
    Interesting, could you elaborate a little please?

    Could you give me the gist of how they think the standard model might tie into relativity then?

    Also, if the HB was not introduced to tie relativity to the standard theory why is it needed? Why can mass not simply be a property of fundamental particles?

    Thanks again
  5. Apr 17, 2009 #4


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    As I recall, in a Yang-Mills gauge theory without Higgs or some other mechanism to take its place, all particles must be massless in order for the theory to be renormalizable. The Higgs mechanism gives particles mass while still allowing the theory to be renormalizable.
  6. Apr 18, 2009 #5
    Forces in the standard have been glued together in a unified framework....but gravity has NOT yet been reconciled with those forces....quantum gravity, quantum field theory and other approaches are making an attempt to make that unification....

    For a nice visual representation, try reading Michio Kaku's HYPERSPACE ...under the Chapter EINSTEINS REVENGE, Dr Kaku lays out an N X N matrix...the upper left corner is Einsteins Gravity; Maxwell's equations are adjacent formulations in the same matrix..similarly he illustrates nuclear force,matter,etc in other blocks of the matrix....but the approach is illustrative, not mathematical and with a basic understanding of the components, it ties the pieces together very nicely...

    PS: The Higgs boson and general relativity are not connected... or if they are nobody knows how....
    The Higgs particle (or Higgs field) theoretically generates symmetry breaking and is therefore is origin of the mass of quarks...all particles with mass owe it to the theoretical Higgs particle...the graviton (the quantum manifestation of gravity) like the photon (the quantum manifestation of the electromagnetic field) has no mass...
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2009
  7. Apr 26, 2009 #6
    Hmm ok, so the HB is pretty much for keeping particle physicists happy.

    Then I assume string theory/loop gravity are the theories trying to bring in relativity... soo do they have anything to say on the higgs boson?
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