Taken from the article:
"Their theory was that all particles acquire their mass through interactions with an all-pervading field, called the Higgs field, which is carried by the Higgs boson."
I don't see how a particle "Higgs boson" can come out of a field and attach itself to a fundamental particle giving it mass.
The concept of the Higgs field is good though, and I think that this in some way could be linked to the ether.
But I think the claim is false and the Higgs boson doesn't exist.
If one were to read the actual paper, one end up not being as as optimistic as the news article would have it. Similar claims were made right before LEP was laid to rest, and none of the "hints of indirect Higgs" have been taken seriously. Besides, the parameters described in Renton's paper are well within the range that the Tevatron is currently running, and they haven't seen the Higgs yet. Of course, the luminosity problem they're having could easily be part of the problem, but that's another story.
Why this thing is published in Nature is another mystery. It isn't in the same regular section as with the rest of their scientific papers.
The Higgs mechanism came out of (some have even mentioned "stolen" from) condensed matter physics (CMP). To put it crudely, the self-energy interaction via the "background fields" can cause objects to have mass. We see this very clearly in CMP via the variation in the mass of electrons, holes, and other charge carriers in materials. We call this the effective mass. The mass of the electrons in your semiconductors, for example, isn't the same as the mass of the bare electrons. In fact, in heavy fermion superconductors, the effective mass can be 200 times greater or more.
So one can easily envision a cartoon scenario where the Higgs field imposes some sort of a "drag" to various particles, and this drag manifests itself as mass. This, however, by no means validates the presence of the Higgs itself, for I am still unconvinced it has been discovered.
 P. Renton, Nature v.428, p.141 (2004).
Please read the complete newsclip before start opining! It is the *same* claim that before, the "atom smashing machine" is LEP.
Renton article has doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature02324
Which is new is an analisis of precision data.
(Of course I am a interested part on the 115 GeV issue... remember my http://arxiv.org/abs/nucl-th/0312003 :-)
Re: Re: Higgs boson - may have been found
Has round 2 of tevatron actually started, or is it stopped due to this problem?
The higgs mechanism is extremely subtle.
It basically states that in the Lagrangian of your theory, there is a hidden symmetry that may have been 'spontaneously broken'. In a sense, you could be looking at a larger theory, where your vacuum state is no longer the unique ground state, but simply just one of several others.
Now, there is a theorem that basically states, that any continuous symmetry that is spontaneously broken outputs something called a goldstone boson. Its just a degree of freedom inherent in your now degenerate theory.
However, the very subtle thing that was noticed, was that in certain Guage theories, one would end up with this bizarre remainder term even after renormalization and gauge fixing was successfully completed. Bahh, what do do with this irratating quadratic guage term that would have surely been detected by now (since it was massless).
No one knew what to do with it, until it was noted that maybe, we are dealing with a spontaneously broken guage theory. Bingo, then it was seen that the relevant goldstone boson would *eat* this mysterious term, and in effect gives it 'mass'.
This was applied to the weak interaction guage theory, and the 'higgs' particle was then attributed to giving the W and Z their mass. Of course, the precise nature of the spontaneously broken theory is not known, the simplest case (a scalar field) produces one higgs boson, but it need not be that simple (in which case we talk about the Higgs sector of the theory, where multiple particles might exist).
Re: Re: Higgs boson - may have been found
And in fact, the Progress section is not a regular section. This irregular heading was not used since August 2003
Renton did a paper on precision electroweak phenomenology recently, hep-ph/020623, so he is a good candidate to write an assessment on the 115 GeV question. Why was it published three years after the LEP? Perhaps they were expecting Tevatron data and got tired of waiting. Or perhaps Nature has requested the report more recently.
Really the interesting news are not in the report, but in the fact that it is published still now. It implies that the "low-medium" mass Higgs is not discarded yet.
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