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Why the 1964 Higgs?

  1. Jun 8, 2012 #1
    Layman, I have a problem to understand the Higgs' motivation back then at 1964.

    The Higgs as I understand was postulated to explain how spontaneous breaking of gauge symmetry takes place in nature, which in turn explains why other elementary particles have mass.
    This all make perfect sense as of today...But, and here comes my lack of knowledge, at that time there was no W+/-, nor Z and no electroweak unification, so why to bother?
    What was the problem these paper tried to tackle?
    Was it 'only' to explain the mass mechanism via yet unknown vector bosons?...Or did they (the 3 groups) really aimed that high?
    Was it intentional or was it like pure curiosity 'Lie Groups' that then became a necessity?

    NB - no diminutive by pure curiosity, to the contrary.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 8, 2012 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Did you read the paper? Higgs makes it clear in the 1st paragraph (which I will not type in) exactly what he is doing.
  4. Jun 8, 2012 #3
    Thanks...I actually could find only the 19 October publication, that of July 27, I could not found online.
    It was not that obvious to me however - does Higgs stated his intention to show that Goldstone vector boson can acquire mass under gauge fields as well?
    i.e. does he say something like: "these particles have mass and therefore 'are real objects' and can be experimentally tested one day?"
    I'm not suggesting that massless particles are not real...I extrapolate (based on remark Pauli once made to Yang about the mass of this particles), that the lack of mass was a problem.
    Do am anywhere near the zone?
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