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In what sense is the Higgs expected to be discovered

  1. Apr 6, 2012 #1


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    In what sense is the higgs particle expected to be discovered at the LHC?
    I mean, the Higgs field has a non-vanishing vacuum expectation value, so it costs no energy to absorb or emit a higgs boson.Hence what is meant when saying that the expected mass is about 126 GeV?
    I suppose one is looking for some excited state or something?
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  3. Apr 6, 2012 #2


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    It's not an excited state. The physical Higgs field is the degree of freedom as seen in the classical vacuum state that breaks the electroweak symmetry. The [itex]SU(2)[/itex] doublet [itex]H[/itex] is an expansion around the false vacuum at [itex]\langle H \rangle =0[/itex]. The true vacuum is an expansion around [itex]\langle H^0\rangle =\upsilon[/itex], for which we write

    [tex] H = \begin{pmatrix} H^+ \\ \upsilon + h \end{pmatrix}.[/tex]

    [itex]H^\pm[/itex] are the degree of freedom that gets "eaten" to generate mass for the EW gauge bosons, while [itex]h[/itex] is the massive Higgs scalar being investigated. The mass of [itex]h[/itex] is set in terms of the parameters of the Higgs potential once you expand using the parametrization above.
  4. Apr 7, 2012 #3


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    Ok, I see. Thank you!
  5. Apr 9, 2012 #4


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    In other words, yes the Higgs boson is an excited state of the Higgs field.
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