Why is the Higgs Field not considered a fifth fundamental force?

  1. Why exactly is it that the Higgs field is not considered a fundamental force? Since the Higgs Boson has been confirmed would that not make it a force as it's presence has been confirmed by the discovery of the boson for the field?
    Demystifier likes this.
  2. jcsd
  3. tom.stoer

    tom.stoer 5,489
    Science Advisor

    In some general sense - yes. The effect of this force (in addition to the creation of particle masses) is tiny due to the huge Higgs mass.

    But what would it help to call if a "fifth force"?
  4. Bill_K

    Bill_K 4,157
    Science Advisor

    The Higgs mass of 126 GeV is not huge compared to the masses of the W and Z (80 and 90 GeV) which mediate the weak force. As a "fifth force" the Higgs boson could mediate for example between fermion-antifermion pairs or gauge boson pairs, but these particles are extremely short-lived -- with the exception of electrons and muons, and for those cases the coupling constant is extremely small.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  5. Vanadium 50

    Vanadium 50 18,465
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Normally, it's considered part of the electroweak interaction. But if it makes you happier to call it a fundamental force, go right ahead. "Fundamental" is a term human beings use to categorize, not anything from nature.
  6. It is quite different from the "other forces" on account of being spin zero instead of one. But yeah, no-one talks about forces like this in particle physics unless they are giving a seminar for a general audience. Especially when you throw in things like supersymmetry, which cause the categorisation to become even more meaningless.
  7. gravity is also different being a spin 2 instead of one. The original post has a point. The Higgs interaction could be considered a 5th force. What makes the Higgs interaction different is the fact that - unlike the other forces - it is not related to a gauge local symmetry and doesn't have any conserved charges associated with it.
  8. Yeah sure, but then we could argue that gravity too is really quite a lot different to the spin 1 forces. Some like to argue it isn't a force either. More word games of course.
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: higgs boson