I'm not sure this thread belongs in this forum since we have now discovered a Higgs like boson. But I'm trying to get a better understanding of how the Higgs mechanism works. Let me share what I think I know, and you tell me how far off I am. Particles gain mass as they travel through the Higgs field. The Higgs field exists everywhere; it is a scalar, spin-0 field, and it has a non-zero value everywhere. There is a coupling constant between the Higgs field and particle fields. The larger the coupling the larger the mass. In another contexts, IIRC, I'm told that mass is acquired through a symmetry breaking process since, for example, muons have more mass than the electrons but are otherwise the same. So one question I have is does the Higgs field break particle symmetries to produce mass? For example, if the Higgs field had a changing value, I could understand how this would break symmetries and produce mass. Thanks.