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trsn500

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I was looking at ways to teach about the Higgs and came across the old 'well-known scientist walks across a conference hall' analogy (see link below)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18707698

My interpretation of this goes as follows:

1. massive particles strongly 'attract' the Higgs field, slowing them down - giving them inertia (mass)

2. less massive particles only weakly 'attract' the Higgs field, so they aren't slowed down very much and have lower inertia

3. massless particles like photons don't 'attract' the Higgs field at all so aren't slowed down at all, have no mass/inertia and travel at the maximum possible speed (c)

Ok. Let's imagine particles A (massive) and B (less massive).

NOW... I

**would like to know what it is that makes the Higgs field cluster strongly around particle A**- (slowing it down, giving it more mass/inertia) -

**but only cluster weakly around particle B**(slowing it down less, giving it less mass/inertia).

The answer can't be that "particle A has more mass" since then we'd have a circular analogy as follows

1. Particle A is massive

2. so the Higgs field strongly clusters around it

3. slowing it down and thereby giving it it's large mass

... circular see!

So; apart from mass, what is the difference between particle A (The popular scientist) and particle B (the less popular scientist), that results in particle A attracting more Higgs field?

And what could be added to the 'popular scientist' analogy to make it non-circular? (or is it, in fact, a rubbish analogy?)

Ta!