The relation between mass,higgs boson, and boson field?

  • #1
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In school we learn that mass is made of the amount of particles within an object!.
but then we have found something called higgs boson and boson field which is said to be responsible for an object mass. I have read how higgs boson and boson field work but I still don't understand how the higgs boson and boson field go along with the amount of particle mass theory. can someone explain it deeper to me?
Note: I'm sorry if my question is considered to be dumb or something. I'm far from smart,just curious!
 

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  • #2
sophiecentaur
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Hi and welcome to PF.
Note: I'm sorry if my question is considered to be dumb
Not at all. You have asked the obvious question as a result of the way the Higg's Boson has been presented by the Media. If you know anything about anything in great depth, you will have found that the version that is given to the general public is very often 'dodgy'.

Your question is very deep and I have to say that you will need to be much more familiar with Particle Physics before you could appreciate a proper answer. (Me too, but it doesn't bother me overmuch) The best answer I can give you is that the Higgs Boson particle is not a little bullet-like particle that buzzes around inside things. I have always felt that the word 'particle' was a bad choice for such things because people assume it's a mechanical thing.
I will be interested in other answers that turn up on this thread. (At the appropriate level)
 
  • #3
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In school we learn that mass is made of the amount of particles within an object!.
That is a very good approximation. Take some object, count how many protons, neutrons and electrons it has, add all their masses, and you get the mass of an object to a good approximation (~1% error, I'll come to that). It does not tell you why protons, neutrons and electrons have mass, however.

For electrons, the source of mass is the interaction with the Higgs field. There are a some analogies around to describe how, but I don't like any of them.
For protons and neutrons, it is more complicated, as they are composite particles. As simplified picture, they consist of three quarks each, tightly bound together. The Higgs field gives the quarks their mass. In addition, the bonds between the quarks have a lot of energy - and special relativity tells us this contributes to the mass. Just about 1% of the mass of protons and neutrons comes from the quarks - the other 99% are from binding energy, completely independent of the Higgs field.

A binding energy is also responsible for the 1% error I mentioned earlier, but this time it is the binding energy between protons and neutrons, and (as much smaller contribution) between electrons and the nuclei.

The best answer I can give you is that the Higgs Boson particle is not a little bullet-like particle that buzzes around inside things.
It is also not responsible for the mass of things.
 
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  • #4
ChrisVer
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I still don't understand how the higgs boson and boson field go along with the amount of particle mass theory. can someone explain it deeper to me?
The masses of the particles in the Standard Model of particle physics are free-parameters which have to be determined from experiment. The Higgs mechanism gives a nice explanation for how the particles have mass, but not the mass that they have.
 

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