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Non-massed particles gaining mass

  1. Dec 5, 2012 #1
    Would it be possible to have a mass-less particle such as a photon given mass through the Higgs field?
    Could the photon be slowed down by a lowering of the energy level then absorb the H boson?
    I know the answer is probably no but I would like to learn why.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 5, 2012 #2


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    If a particle (better: a particle type) gains mass via the Higgs mechanism, it has that mass always, and everywhere. There are no massless particles which "somehow" get mass later. Concerning why.... it is a result of quantum field theory.

    That does not make sense (both).
  4. Dec 5, 2012 #3


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    The Higgs mechanism is just a theoretical 'trick' to achieve the correct renormalizable interactions in the Standard Model of Particles and Interactions. The particles are 'massive' to begin with.
  5. Dec 6, 2012 #4


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    Actually, the particles are massless to begin with. Right after the big bang the temperature is so high that the vacuum state is a false vacuum, in which the expectation value of the Higgs field is zero, electroweak symmetry is unbroken, and the masses of the gauge bosons, quarks and leptons are zero.
  6. Dec 6, 2012 #5
    So in high energy stellar collisions the vacuum of space is broken and symmetry scattered?
  7. Dec 6, 2012 #6


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    The energy required is something like 1014 to 1016 GeV, corresponding to a temperature of 1027 to 1029 K. The only time such a temperature ever existed was in the big bang.
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