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Interaction with Fields

  1. Feb 3, 2015 #1
    Can anyone help with an ongoing argument we are having. When a particle interacts with a vector field e.g. the electric field, it experiences a force trying to move it which depends on the particle charge and the local field condition, - but when it interacts with a scalar field e.g. the Higs field, it just gets a return value ,- no movement - the contention is that whilst it is interacting with the scalar field it cannot move, movement is only allowed with vector fields. This could be the start of an explanation for inertial mass!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 3, 2015 #2
    Interesting question. My first guess would be that a scalar field would not have directional information and is symmetric with respect to any direction (including changes in the direction of motion). But a vector field does have directional information. So any interaction with a vector field would change a particles direction.
  4. Feb 4, 2015 #3


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    How about the good old Newtonian gravitational field? The field phi is a scalar under Galileitransformations (not under accelerations, but that's no problem), and its gradient gives the force experienced by particles.
  5. Feb 6, 2015 #4
    The field Phi is an analytical construct, particles experience only the vector at a given moment, only by moving do they experience the gradient
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