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Origin of fundamental fields

  1. May 7, 2013 #1
    correct me if im wrong but there are fundamental fields that are responsible for the forces and properties. A) how do these fields (em, higgs ect.) influence matter? B) where did they come from and when? Thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. May 7, 2013 #2


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    Fields can interact with each other. The interaction can be described with quantum field theory, and "matter" are just fields as well. Physics cannot answer if or why there are "really" fields, or why this description is so successful.
  4. May 7, 2013 #3
    I interpret calling something "fundamental" as the same as saying we either don't know of or there is no underlying cause. The minute we know "where" they come from or "how" they come about is the minute they are no longer fundamental.
  5. May 7, 2013 #4
    Big, big questions!!

    Some brief comments for perspective:
    [explanations and details for boldfaced terms can be found in Wikipedia]

    The fields ARE matter: That is field quanta are particles! Particles are the local observables of fields.
    Higgs imparts some mass to matter particles, but there is considerably more mass/energy as well. Fields are a model. Nobody has ever detected a field. Fields are extended versions of the particles we detect locally.
    I don't know the mathematics of QM enough to understand precisely how fields and particles originate mathematically. But creation and annihilation operators play a part.
    But fields and particles ultimately arise, I think from the vacuum....which is observer dependent.
    The perturbative vacuum is the true ground state of a system. It contains only virtual particles...which are not observable. Typically a non-perturbative vacuum exhibits observable particles. For example in QCD, the strong force of the Standard Model of Particle Physics, the 'vacuum' 'contains quark-antiquark pairs'.

    A prior post from these forums I like:

    More from Rovelli:


    Everything around us came from the big bang or it's remnants.

    I saved this from another discussion....maybe Wikipedia is the source

    I can provide you a rough sense of the origin of fields/and particles insofar as it it understood via cosmology:....Gravitational fluctuations in accelerated expansion is what gives rise to the primordial perturbations. We observe remnant fluctuations today via cosmic microwave background radiation variations.

    Quantum vacuum fluctuations in the inflationary vacuum become quanta [particles] at super horizon inflationary scales. It turns out that geometric circumstances can create real particles such as Hawking radiation at black hole horizons and Unruh radiation caused by acceleration or felt by an accelerated observer. It seems that expansion of geometry itself, especially inflation, can produce particles. A dynamic and changing spacetime leads to event horizons and these quantize field perturbations resulting in particle production.
    [What a crazy way to start a universe!!]

    Many of the above ideas come from this discussion:

    Particle creation in an accelerating Universe?
    Last edited: May 7, 2013
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