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Higgs boson

  1. Apr 25, 2015 #1
    from a malayalam language newspaper i read about Higgsboson that is according to standard model the Higgsboson is the piece of the atom that endows all the other piece with their mass. when electrons,quarks,etc are associated with higgs field they get mass. the light particle called photons have no mass bcoz it didnt associated with higgs field. so they move @Speed of light. but when light entered to a medium such as water its speed reduced to 3by4 th of speed at vacuum. why? is that due to the light particle associated with higgs field?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2015 #2


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    The Higgs boson is not a part of atoms.

    The Higgs field (not the particle) is responsible for the mass of particles, but it is not a part of it.

    This has nothing to do with the Higgs. The best explanations are formulas, but those need a lot of quantum mechanics to understand them. There are multiple simplified models to give some idea how it works, all of them are problematic in some way. The main idea is always the same: the electromagnetic waves interact with the material, which leads to a slower propagation.
  4. Apr 25, 2015 #3


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    No, it's because the light effectively scatters off atoms in the material delaying its progress
  5. Apr 25, 2015 #4


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    Photons when entering water, don't get slowed down. They are interacting with the matterial, scattering off it, such that the Electromagnetic wave's (light's) group velocity gets slowed down. The photons (massless) travel at c everywhere , and light travels at c in vacuum. So nothing to do with the Higgs field.

    As for the mass-giving of Higgs, if you don't have the appropriate background it'd be fruitless to try and discuss this. The thing is that mathematics do give a result which cannot be translated in an exact analogy in english language (at least not without using technical terms). It's more like that you have a constant field everywhere which ends up interacting with all the known massive particles except for one in the case of the Weinberg-Salam-Glashow model, which we associate to the photon.
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