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Which interaction does the Higgs field rely on?

  1. Sep 19, 2013 #1
    Dear Physics Forum,

    can anyone tell me which of the fundamental interactions is involved in the Higgs Field? Or is it a new and unique type of interaction apart from the fundamental 4?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 19, 2013 #2
    It's a new kind of interaction. If you want you could think of the Higgs boson as mediating a 5th fundamental force.
  4. Sep 19, 2013 #3
    The four fundamental forces of the Standard Model of particle physics explain how experimentally observed particles interact, say the electron for example, via the electromagnetic force. But what is not explained is why the electron itself has mass. Turns out the Higgs mechanism imparts mass to W and Z bosons and electrons, spin 1/2 fundamental particles.

    Leonard Susskind explains the Higgs mechanism here: It is an understandable conceptual video, not heavy math:

    You can start at about minute 45 to get the following essentials....

    It turns out the 'Higgs boson' is not actually the Higgs particle that imparts mass; instead, it is a leftover signature that a Higgs field exists. The actual particle that imparts mass I think is properly called the 'weak hyper charge'....I'm guessing "Higgs" particle in an imprecise shorthand for that.....in the video he calls this a 'zilch' particle. I did not find Susskind precisely clear on this.

    Susskind says this:

    edit: rereading the quote, it appears Susskind is just describing what any particle is: Particles are the quanta of some local operator...a local particle state.

    For anyone that watches the video, Susskind is explaining in words how the mathematical operators in the theory change rotational symmetry and how those mechanisms impart mass.

    As an electron flips spin direction this is a spontaneous breaking of chiral [rotational] symmetry and is the process by which particles get mass.

    Just don't ask why things work this way...nobody knows and nobody was positive they did and hence all the hoopla about confirming that a Higgs field actually exists.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  5. Sep 19, 2013 #4
    Yes it is a different kind of interaction. The Higgs interaction is called a Yukawa interaction after Hideki Yukawa who first identified its possibility. Yukawa interaction is not a gauge interaction like the others
  6. Sep 24, 2013 #5
    The discovered boson represents a new interaction. It remains to be shown that this field has the very high vacuum value by which it is supposed to generate mass.
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