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How can the Higgs boson have mass?

  1. Feb 25, 2016 #1
    So this may be just me being stupid.

    Anyway, so i was reading about the higgs and i read it has been found in LHC to have a mass of 125 Gev, according to their expriments. Now here comes what i dont understand, how can the particle that gives mass have mass, and wouldnt that cause the higgs field to collaps in on it self due to its own mass?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 25, 2016 #2

    Orodruin

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    As you can imagine, this is a very technical issue and it is very difficult to make good analogies at B level. Questions such as "how can A give B?" are by nature going to be best answered on a rechnical level, but you would first need to understand the framework and how it predicts things to work. Only then can you adequately get your question answered.

    That being said, you are likely to have some sort of mental image of the process. In order to address that, you would have to be more specific on why you would not expect the Higgs to give mass to itself.

    Also, in the end, it is not the Higgs boson which gives mass to other particles, it is the vacuum expectation value of the Higgs field which does. Making an analogy to a pond, the vacuum expectation value is the depth and the particles are ripples on the surface.
     
  4. Feb 25, 2016 #3
    Well i have read some books on the matter.

    It just confused me how the higgs can have mass, which it gets from it self. My thinking is that would make it gain more and more mass and eventualy clump together, like normal matter.
     
  5. Feb 25, 2016 #4

    Orodruin

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    This is simply not how the subatomic world works. You cannot think of Higgs particles as little balls sticking to things and thereby giving them mass. And again, it is not the Higgs particle which gives mass to other particles, it is the vacuum expectation value.
     
  6. Feb 25, 2016 #5
    Ah okay, sorry.

    Looks like i have some reading to do.
     
  7. Feb 26, 2016 #6
    So the higgs particle is not what gives mass, just a particle that appears when you disturb the higgs field? Like virtual particles?
     
  8. Feb 26, 2016 #7

    Orodruin

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    No, like normal particles. All particles are essentially disturbances in their respective fields. What sets the Higgs field apart is that it can have a non-zero value in its lowest energy state. It is this non-zero value which results in giving mass to particles.
     
  9. Feb 26, 2016 #8
    Ah okay, thanks!
     
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