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More questions about Higgs for the layman

  1. Aug 6, 2012 #1
    1. Does the range where the Higgs has (possibly) been detected differ from what was expected? If so, what is the significance of this?

    2. What is the name of the corresponding fermion to the higgs boson?

    3. Do we already understand the Higgs mechanism "completely" or will its discovery provide new information on how mass is generated? (Depending on the answer, I have some follow up questions.)
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 6, 2012 #2


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    1. I assume you mean the mass range. Expectations varied, but 125 GeV is not UNreasonable.

    2. The supersymmetric partner to the Higgs boson is called the Higgsino.

    3. We think we understand it, at least as far as the role played by the Higgs itself. Further results from the LHC will be required to either confirm this or not.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  4. Aug 6, 2012 #3
    The real question is not whether we understand Higgs mechanism, but whether Higgs mechanism is an actual description of nature.
  5. Aug 12, 2012 #4
    @Dead Boss

    Can I know more about that statement? Are physicists still unsure of whether the Higgs exists or how it behaves?

    When the big news came out (from CERN) many didnt understand the implications of the theory would have in the future - regarding actually useful technology. I assume it has to do with controlling mass (while keeping matter's other properties the same), and playing with intertial effects the way we want them. Is my assumption okay?

    If so, how can we use this understanding to make, say, a boeing 747 run on less fuel? Or a jet that doesn't let its flyer experience too much g-force?
  6. Aug 12, 2012 #5


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    What remains to be seen regarding the particle that has apparently been found at 125 GeV is how closely it follows the theoretical predictions for a Standard Model Higgs boson. Verifying this will require a lot more data and years of work.

    Your ideas for "technological uses" of the Higgs are pure science fiction.
  7. Aug 13, 2012 #6
    Do particle physicists agree that the Higgs boson has been found, or the opinion on that divided?

    From an article I read (when the discovery was made and news about it came), I thought what I stated were the types of technology this discovery could lead to in the future.

    In your opinion, what technological implications would the discovery of the Higgs boson have in the future - say 25 to 50 years from now?
  8. Aug 14, 2012 #7
    If the Higgs boson gives matter its mass, what gives the Higgs its mass?

    Well, someone had to ask!

  9. Aug 14, 2012 #8
    Higgs is self-interacting, similar to gluon.
  10. Aug 14, 2012 #9
    I think thats like saying "If water gives something wetness, what gives water wetness"? The answer simply is that water itself is wetness.

    But can anyone in this line of particle physics tell me what technology this discovery is going to impact in the near future?
  11. Aug 14, 2012 #10


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    Probably nothing in the next few decades. Everything beyond that is just guesswork.
  12. Aug 14, 2012 #11
    Is science fact not based in science fiction?

    I doubt anyone knows the feasibility of such technologies at this point and none could accurately state for or against, considering the understanding of the Higgs field is so limited.
  13. Aug 14, 2012 #12


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    No. The other way around.
    The theory behind the standard model Higgs has been around for 50 years, and is perfectly well understood. Of course there is always "the next layer of the onion", i.e. whatever lies beneath the standard model, which we don't yet understand. But it must be consistent with what we do know. The idea that further discoveries about the Higgs will lead to an era of Star Trek technology does not even make good science fiction.
  14. Aug 14, 2012 #13
    I agree. An effect (higgs particle) being an effect of itself (Higgs field) doesn't address where it came from to begin with. How can an effect also be the cause of itself?
  15. Aug 14, 2012 #14

    The mobile phone disagrees with you :p

    The theory is one thing, but we've all seen how things tend to change a bit when reputable evidence comes about. Sure it might take a while, but unless you have a time machine you can't say for certain what may or may not happen in the future regarding the Higgs field.

    And what if what we find in the 'next layer' isn't consistent? It doesn't have to be, it'd just be more convenient if it is. The standard model is not infallible, as the macro/micro relationship problem shows. It's just the best understanding of everything based on what we have found so far, and as such could change a bit.
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