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Higgs Boson and Dark Matter / Dark Energy

  1. Oct 15, 2012 #1

    Forgive me if this topic has been covered elsewhere; I'm new here and didn't find an answer to my question by searching the Higgs.

    With the potential discovery of the Higgs as announced this past July by CMS and ATLAS the one thing that I'm not understanding is why isn't the Higgs particle and the Higgs field the prime candidates for dark matter and dark energy itself? Researchers at those labs have sated that finding evidence of the Higgs may lead to finding the answer to what is dark energy and dark matter, but why aren't they the potential answer?

    More specifically, the Higgs appears to be "weighing in" at about 125 proton mass (125 GeV) and the consideration that the Higgs field is prevalent in all of space, why are they not the candidates for dark matter and dark energy? "Atomic number" of 125 (if you will) would put the Higgs itself in the class of theoretical super heavy elements, yet thus far the Higgs particle itself and the field are undetectable - eg "dark" - since they have not been seen directly but may have been identified only by a decay signature at the LHC ...

    Clearly I don't understand enough of the Standard Model and the answer to this question may be obvious to someone here - I just can't quite put my finger on it and I'm hoping someone here can explain what I'm missing ...
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2012 #2


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    It's an interesting question and I can kind of see where you're coming from but ...

    ALL matter has mass (including dark matter) so why would you expect the Higgs to distinguish between the two? If you are thinking that the Higgs particle IS dark matter, I don't think that would make sense. The Higgs field is something that AFFECTS matter.

    Dark energy has NOTHING to do with dark matter and in fact is not any KIND of matter so certainly will not have the same explanation as dark energy and the Higgs is not at all likely to have anything to do with it.
  4. Oct 15, 2012 #3


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    The main issue is that we need any dark matter candidate to be long lived. That is, we expect it to be produced in the early universe, so for it to still be around 14Gyr later, it has to have a half life comparable to that. The higgs decays in a fraction of a second, which is why even without knowing anything else about it, it is immediately ruled out.
  5. Oct 15, 2012 #4

    So is the Higgs field equally transient also ruling it out as dark energy? From my readings I had the impression that the Higgs field would be prevalent throughout all of spacetime ...
  6. Oct 15, 2012 #5
    field =/= particle. The Higgs particle has a mass of 125 GeV and decays away very quickly. The Higgs field is ubiquitous throughout space and it (or, stricly, its vacuum) is what is responsible for the masses of other fundamental particles. The field does not, itself, have mass; and, its properties are not correct for it to be dark energy.
  7. Oct 15, 2012 #6
    The Higgs field is an aspect of vacuum energy. Just as electrons and, say, protons exist today as apparent masses, so does the Higgs field exist as an [maybe still undetected] energy.

    Another way to think about it is as a mathematical operator:


    This Wikipedia discussion has some good insights....

    including a comment on statement from phinds:

    "ALL matter has mass (including dark matter) so why would you expect the Higgs to distinguish between the two?"
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  8. Oct 15, 2012 #7
    In principle something like the Higgs field could give rise to dark energy. The problem is that if you run with this idea and try to do the calculation, you predict too much dark energy by many, many orders of magnitude.

    This is a clear indication that we don't really know what we're doing. We have very little idea of how to make sense of dark energy in the context of particle physics.
  9. Oct 15, 2012 #8


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    I think I remember someone here on PF saying that dark energy is being thought of more and more as simply the cosmological constant, and not some "mysterious force or energy".
  10. Oct 15, 2012 #9


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    The Higgs field is a scalar field.
  11. Oct 16, 2012 #10


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    "The Higgs field is everywhere" in the same way as "the electron/positron field is everywhere", and similar for all other particles.
    The Higgs field is not special in that respect.
  12. Oct 16, 2012 #11


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    What is special is that the Higgs field has a nonvanishing vev.
  13. Oct 17, 2012 #12
    The way i understand the Higgs field is as another layer of support for existence, the other layer being space-time.
    Higgs as the probability that one particle has a different amount of potential energy than the other, this applied for each position possible in spacetime and using the complete set of variables and constants existing in the universe.

    As the Higgs field is corelated with spacetime, the Higgs particle manifestation might be related to the ripples of spacetime. Personally i like to believe that the particle is only an ilusion, a manifestation of spacetime and the higgs field applied to a non-void point in spacetime.
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