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Higgs Bosons in another dimension?

  1. Jul 4, 2012 #1
    Could someone tell me if Higgs bosons exist in another dimension or if there's simply something i don't understand about their existence in our timespace?

    Meaning - from what I understand - the recent experiments at the LHC smashed together particles with enough energy to create a Higgs boson and measure it's existence via the particles it decayed into.

    So where are the Higgs bosons now? If it takes a LHC at high energies to smash protons together to create one , but are unstable enough that they decay, how/where do the 'non'-decayed ones exist?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 4, 2012 #2


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    Higgs particles decay. All.
    Nature usually does not produce [real] Higgs bosons at all - probably a few in cosmic radiations, maybe some in neutron stars (no idea), but these decay, too.

    The Higgs field is always there. This is not the Higgs particle!
  4. Jul 4, 2012 #3
    I am indeed asking about the particle,not the field.

    I don't think either A)I asked the question clear enough or B) you didn't answer it (or both).

    I'm interested in knowing how the Higgs boson particle exists today if in the LHC experiments it lasts only super briefly before decaying.

    My understanding is that the Higgs boson particles that exist in the field are what give mass...yet the Higgs boson exists only briefly after very high energy collisions - so what is giving mass to things now if the Higgs boson decays so quickly?

    So are there already a finite number of Higgs boson particles already in existence that are declining in number over time? (from say the big bang? - if so, wouldn't they have all decayed by now?) Or are there more being created in other high energy collision areas in nature (stars? etc?).
  5. Jul 4, 2012 #4


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    You do not need Higgs particles flying around everywhere for the Higgs mechanism.
    The Higgs field gives the particles their mass, which can be described via virtual Higgs particles - they are another way to illustrate the field, "they are everywhere" (do not quote this). They are a bit different from the real Higgs particles studied in the LHC.

    The real Higgs particles have a lifetime shorter than 10-20s, they do not survive any significant timescale.
  6. Jul 4, 2012 #5
    No, it's the field itself that gives mass. The standard analogy is something like: the field is the surface of a lake. The particle is a ripple upon the lake. Even the if the lake surface is perfectly flat and still (no particles) the lake is still there (the field is still there, giving mass to other particles).

    The Higgs field (the flat, still surface of the lake).

    There are probably approximately zero Higgs boson particles in the universe right now. To create them requires huge energies, such as were not seen in Nature from just after the Big Bang until the modern era of particle accelerators. There would have been plenty of Higgs particles created in the Big Bang, but they would all have decayed essentially immediately (in a tiny fraction of a second). Thus the surface of the lake was perfectly still for billions of years until we started producing little ripples upon it with our experiments.
  7. Jul 4, 2012 #6


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    When I was a young lad, I wrote a short story on this very premise. Scientists made a particle accelerator that could recreate energy levels equivalent to those seen in the Big Bang. It didn't occur to them until too late that recreating the energy levels equivalent to those seen in the Big Bang could recreate the Big Bang!
  8. Jul 4, 2012 #7
    thanks for replies!
  9. Jul 5, 2012 #8
    I thought cosmic rays could do this? Years ago people were worried the LHC could create black holes or strangelets that could swallow the earth.. but scientists explained cosmic rays created energies much bigger than the LHC, therefore they should also create higgs bosons spontaneously, no?
  10. Jul 5, 2012 #9
    Yes, you're right of course.
  11. Jul 6, 2012 #10
    I thought the Higgs Boson was supposed to be the quantum of the Higgs field; the field itself being a quanta of Higgs Boson particles.

    In other words, the field is comprised of Higgs Boson particles, is it not?

    I'm also a bit confused as to how something that decays nearly instantaneously can also be sustained in a field.

    Can anyone clarify? If the Higgs field itself is not a quanta of Higgs Boson particles, then what is it? Why is it called a Higgs field, if the boson is not directly related?
  12. Jul 6, 2012 #11
    Higgs boson is a quanta of Higgs field. Imagine it like a surface of water. Field is the water and Higgs boson is a wave. Field is not comprised of the particles any more than sea is comprised of waves.
  13. Jul 6, 2012 #12
    Isn't quanta the plural of quantum? Wouldn't that statement be the other way around? Can you back up what you're saying with a linked source? Everything I've read says that the Boson is the smallest part of the field.

    The sea isn't comprised of the waves, but it is comprised of water, and a molecule of water is the smallest quantum of water. The sea would be the a quanta of water, and water is a quanta of water molecules, is it not?

    I'm not a physicist, just an interested observer. Thanks for your response.
  14. Jul 6, 2012 #13
  15. Jul 6, 2012 #14
    In quantum field theory, a particle is a quantum of the field, i.e. Higgs bosons are quanta of the Higgs field. John Ellis would certainly agree with Dead Boss comment above (except that he would say quantum instead of quanta ;) )

    Quantum=singular, quanta=plural
  16. Jul 6, 2012 #15
    So, how could they be a part of the field, yet only exist for a fraction of an instant? Doesn't the field have to be persistent?
  17. Jul 6, 2012 #16
    Oops. :smile:
    Yes I meant quantum.

    You're taking the analogy too far. It's just a simple picture of the relationship of particle and field. So in this case: field - water, particle - wave. There is nothing more to the analogy.
  18. Jul 6, 2012 #17
    OK, but aren't the Higgs Bosons responsible for the interactions that give mass? If they're not there, like a wave in the water that dissipates over time, then how can the field that interacts be persistent?
  19. Jul 6, 2012 #18
    I do not understand how can anyone (humans) recreate the energy of the big bang? Isn't it correct to say the original energy of big bang is now spread all over the current universe?

    To create the big bang environment one must consolidate all energies of the current universe, which is not possible. At no time one can have more energy than the big bang energy.

    One thing is possible is energy density, energy/m3. Energy in a small volume of space during big bang can be recreated. Then again, volume of the universe at the time of big bang was also very small. Am I missing something?
  20. Jul 6, 2012 #19


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    They are not recreating the sum total of the energy in the Big Bang; they are recreating the energy levels that were present at the Big Bang. Which is about 125 billion electron volts.

    i.e. some particles that emerged from the Big Bang had that much energy.
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