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Is the higgs field required to have space-time warping?

  1. Dec 13, 2012 #1
    I wonder if there's a connection and it's a requirement or it's a completely different matter and space(time) warps anyway.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2012 #2

    K^2

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    It is completely unrelated. Space-time curvature is due to stress-energy tensor.
     
  4. Dec 13, 2012 #3

    bcrowell

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    No, the Higgs is not required. For instance, gravitational waves are vacuum solutions; they have curvature but no matter fields.

    The Higgs is not even required in order to get mass. Most of the mass content of ordinary matter comes from the kinetic energy of the quarks, not from the Higgs field. Popularizations have spread the inaccurate idea that the Higgs is the source of all mass.
     
  5. Dec 14, 2012 #4
    Then it's a responsibility of many popular scientists appearing on film and tv movies and segments. I'm not an expert but I distinctly remember people in their effort to describe it for the layman using phrases such as "it's what gives mass to particles" and leaving it at that.
    I guess some people have to learn when to stop trying to explain something in simplistic terms if those terms make it not just simplistic but also inaccurate.
     
  6. Dec 14, 2012 #5
    I think the above answers are literally correct in that they say spacetime curvature and mass have aspects other than Higgs effects. So in that sense, you can have spacetime curvature without mass...and without Higgs.....energy density and pressure would be examples of phenomena [part of the stress energy tensor] causing space time curvature.

    On the other hand I am somewhat troubled if the inference is that they are 'completely' unrelated. Within the context of existing models and understanding, that could be argued, I guess, but I'd rather see something like 'we don't have a clear understanding' or 'we have different models with different insights':

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_mass

    Ben: any reference you can suggest to learn more about what portion of mass arises from the Higgs model??
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  7. Dec 15, 2012 #6

    Bill_K

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    In the Higgs model, the mass of a fermion is vC where v is the magnitude of the Higgs field and C is a coupling constant, different for each type of particle. C represents the strength of the particle's coupling to the Higgs field, and its value cannot presently be predicted. It's fair to say that the Higgs field is not the "origin of mass", whatever that might mean, but only allows it to be nonzero. The particle masses must derive from some yet-to-be-discovered theory.

    Regarding the proportion of the proton's mass due to the Higgs mechanism, see this Wikipedia page:
     
  8. Dec 15, 2012 #7

    K^2

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    The problem is that even if elementary fermions are massless, dressed fermions will have a mass due to dynamical chiral symmetry breaking. I don't know how much this would affect mass of electrons, only that they wouldn't be massless either way, but mass of protons and neutrons would be almost identical if you assume perfectly massless quarks.

    I can probably do a mass estimate for chiral electrons via rainbow-ladder truncation of QED gap equation, though, if you would like.
     
  9. Dec 15, 2012 #8

    bcrowell

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    This is for a fundamental fermion, right? E.g., this wouldn't apply to a proton.
     
  10. Dec 15, 2012 #9

    K^2

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    Fundamental and bare, yes.
     
  11. Dec 15, 2012 #10

    bcrowell

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    I agree that it's wrong to say they're completely unrelated.

    I don't think there's any big mystery here. It's very clear in GR how and why spacetime curvature exists. I think it's also pretty well understood in the standard model what role the Higgs plays in generating mass. Unresolved details would be things like whether the Higgs is really the standard model Higgs, multiple Higgses, or whatever -- but I don't think those affect the fundamental question.
     
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