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Mass - What makes something have it?

  1. Mar 15, 2010 #1

    FeDeX_LaTeX

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    Hello;

    What is mass? For example, a photon has no mass, because it does not react with the Higgs field (is this the only reason)? Why does mass exist?

    Thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 15, 2010 #2
    Mass can be converted into energy and visa versa. So there is a clue here. I suppose you just need to answer the question 'What is the difference between matter and energy?'
     
  4. Mar 17, 2010 #3

    FeDeX_LaTeX

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    So if something has energy it has mass, by E=mc^2, right? Okay...
     
  5. Mar 17, 2010 #4
    No not entirely true. Something can have energy but no 'effective' mass , photons for example (some of the time). To have mass the energy equivalence has to have either an element of spin (matter) or an acceleration/deceleration. Don't quote me on that but that's how I see it.
     
  6. Mar 17, 2010 #5

    FeDeX_LaTeX

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    So does a photon have no mass because it does not interact with the Higgs field?

    Is that the same with the hypothetical graviton too?
     
  7. Mar 17, 2010 #6
    I'm not totally sure, but assuming the Higgs field is real I would say that it must interact with it. It gives then takes away with the net result of zero - it's an oscillation thing :smile:.

    In so far that the hypothetical graviton will have anything to do with gravity , more than any other virtual particle, is remote. Disclaimer : here again, please don't take my word for it, I think all this a bit on the edge of current knowlege.
     
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