# Is there a Higgs force?

1. Jul 14, 2012

### 2sin54

Since Higgs boson is a boson and they are said to be the force carriers, wouldn't that imply that there's a new, 5th force?

2. Jul 14, 2012

### Einj

Higgs boson doesn't carry any force. It is a particle interacting with other particles via electroweak interaction. It's job is to give other's particles mass thanks to this interaction.

3. Jul 14, 2012

### 2sin54

Thank you. I guess i need to get it out of my head that bosons are only force carriers.

4. Jul 15, 2012

### tom.stoer

What do you mean by "force" exactly?

In the context of quantum field theory, especially scattering theory, one defintion could be that a "force" causes particles in incoming states to interact such that there is a non-vanishing cross section (a matrix element) to find different particles (or the same particles but with different momentum vectors) in the outgoing states |X>. The in-state |A,B> with two particles A,B will not only result in the same out-state |A,B> but will in addition scatter (with some scattering cross section i.e. probability described by the matrix element) to other out-states |X> where X differes from A,B.

So one example could be |e-,e+> which scatters into
|e-,e+>
|2γ>
|2Z°>
...
|q,q-bar>
...
via the electro-weak "exchange force", where |q,q-bar> scatteres into hadronic final states via the strong interaction (of course there are many more possibilities).

If you use this as a "definition of an exchange force" then there are matrix elements where Higgs bosons (or a collection of exchange particles including the Higgs) are exchanged between ingoing particles causing scattering in different out-states.

In that sense there is a Higgs force!

5. Jul 15, 2012

### Bill_K

Between fermions the Higgs induces a Yukawa-type interaction, which could be called a "force". But it is very short-range (125 GeV ≈ 0.001 fermi) and ultraweak. The coupling constant is m/v where m is the fermion mass and v is the Higgs vacuum strength, about 245 GeV. So for the "Higgs attraction" between two electrons the coupling constant is about 1/500,000. Let's see, the Bohr radius... (The constant is greater, of course for b-quarks, say.)

But I'd say while technically true, the term "force" here isn't useful. Calling something a force is appropriate in a situation where multiple bosons have an opportunity to act together to form a classical field, and one can talk about the potential energy, and take its gradient. True e.g. of the nuclear force, but not the weak force.

6. Jul 15, 2012

### tom.stoer

OK, if you define "force" as a collective, classical effect then the weak "force" is no force; that's why we call it "interaction" instead of "force"