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Higgs Mechanism Questions?

  1. Jul 29, 2012 #1

    As I understand, please correct me if i'm wrong, when a subatomic particle interacts with the Higgs field it generates mass due to the higgs mechanism. Does this have anything to do with with e = mc2? (I'm not too privy to particle physics or relativity.)

    Suppose an electron and a positron pair interacts with the Higgs field. Does 1MeV of energy from the Higgs field 'congeal' into the mass of the two particles?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2012 #2


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    With E=mc^2 (better: E=γmc^2), you can calculate the energy corresponding to the mass of a particle.

    The Higgs field gives an electron a mass of 9*10^(-31)kg, which is (-> special relativity) equivalent to 511 keV.
  4. Jul 30, 2012 #3
    E = mc2 gives the equivalent energy to the rest mass of a electron. It is in the frame of the particle...that is moving with the particle. That does not change with relative velocity. Likewise the mass imparted by the Higgs field is rest mass.

    Wikipedia still says:

    but now reflects preliminary CERN results....a Higgs particle MAY have been found.

    Elsewhere in these forums, some 'experts' here think there is a single Higgs field (a single Higgs particle]. In some models, I've read different Higgs field affects different elementary particles...there are multiple Higgs fields. As you likely know, the positron is the anti particle of the electron, and being an elementary particle, is imparted a mass equal to that of the electron.

    'congeal' is likely a premature designation:
    Also from Wikipedia:
    "The Higgs mechanism shows how some particles can gain mass by symmetry breaking without affecting parts of current physics theory that are believed approximately correct. The existence of some kind of symmetry breaking Higgs mechanism is believed proven, however there are a number of ways it could happen and physicists have not yet determined which of these takes place in nature, or whether the mechanism arises in some other way not yet identified."
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