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Ziggs boson

  1. Feb 7, 2014 #1
    What is Professor Susskind talking about when he refers to the Ziggs boson? Is ziggs simply a Z boson with the weak hypercharge or something else?

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 8, 2014 #2


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    I know of no "Ziggs" in particle physics. The man tries to be "funny" some times and so he "invents" names. Was he by any chance talking about spontaneous symmetry breaking? If he was, then he means the Higgs boson.

  4. Feb 9, 2014 #3


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    I think he was discussing a toy model, as a warmup, in which the only symmetry is U(1) and the only gauge boson the Z. Then the Higgs-like particle that breaks the symmetry in this model he calls the Ziggs.
  5. Feb 9, 2014 #4
    Ziggs boson?

    Thanks. Am I wrong or does Susskind have this "thing" about the Higgs? He acts to my mind as if he either hates the idea or the man behind it. I understand he is very much "in-tune" with this area, however just belittles others in his field a tad much. I understand he hung with Feynman in his youth going places and doing things with him and to this end I believe he picked up some bad habits and tries a tad too much perhaps to emulate him, however his story telling leaves a LOT to be desired.
    So there is no Ziggs is what you are saying?

  6. Feb 9, 2014 #5
    Ziggs boson?

    I noticed that as well kinda making things (names) up as he goes. He will also say "there's no name for it" then go on and state well there is a name it is so-so. What's that about... maybe his approach to driving an idea into one's mind? He does well until he starts changing the names of events etc.. thus throwing minds like mind into a tizzy. My IQ is 135 ish so not the most brightest bulb in this room, so sure don't need any help with "confusion" if you get my drift.

  7. Feb 17, 2014 #6
    Its been a while since I saw that lecture, but I think he was talking about goldstone bosons. They are longitudinal polarizations of Z bosons ( and W's) but in that case he was talking about the Z hence "Ziggs"? Goldstone bosons arise in the broken symmetry of SU(2) U(1). I believe he was talking about symmetry breaking (hence electroweak symmetry breaking) and that would involve goldstone bosons.

    I may be way off here but If I remember right I think that's what he was talking about.....
  8. Feb 17, 2014 #7


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    The Ziggs particle(s) Susskind is referring too actually has several names in the literature, and they aren't always consistent (they are sometimes labeled differently in different textbooks etc). What he is presenting is a simplified picture of a more complicated story, although he makes this distinction to emphasize that there is in fact such a story.

    It is important to note that this is not the Higgs boson or the Z boson.

    Basically what he is referring to are the physical excitations of the Higgs vacuum condensate. In the standard model, this is actually represented by a 4 component field of 'Higgses'.

    I will call these guys H+, H-, H0, h. This field interacts (in a complicated way) with 4 different massless gauge bosons that I will call W1, W2, W3 and B, where certain linear combinations of the W's mix into states that then get eaten by the Goldstone bosons in order to finally create the massive W+, W-, Z (and residual massless photon).

    The Higgs boson (the h) is basically the residual excitation of the radial excitation of this full potential.

    Flip Tanedo does a good job of explaining this in a series of posts.

  9. Feb 17, 2014 #8


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    Like I said above:

  10. Jan 8, 2015 #9
    Hi Sussan,
    Yep, I think you got that exactly right. This "ziggs" is needed to mediate emission and absorption of zilch. As LS explains at t=52:50, this emission and absorption of quanta of weak hypercharge (zilch) is the Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism. This is what they gave the 2013 Nobel/Physics for.

    My guess is that this "interaction with the condensate" -- this emission and absorption of zilch -- is the soft spot where we can start to probe physics beyond standard model assumptions. Thanks for pointing us back to this great moment in physics!

  11. Jan 8, 2015 #10


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    The Higgs mechanism, as applied in the standard model. Is a way to get non-Abelian gauge theories with massive gauge bosons without destroying gauge invariance. It's not spontaneous symmetry breaking in the literal sense, because the ground state is not degenerate in this case. This implies, and this is very important phenomenologically, that there are no Goldstone bosons in the physical particle spectrum within such a model.

    If you have a model with a global symmetry, you'd have spontaneous symmetry breaking and massless Goldstone modes in the particle spectrum.

    In perturbation theory you usually fix the gauge. In the Standard Model a very convenient choice are the manifestly renormalizable ##R_{\xi}## gauges, where the proper vertex functions are renormalizable in the Dyson sense and where you can take the limit ##\xi \rightarrow \infty## to the socalled unitary gauge to ensure that the physically observable results of the theory, e.g., the gauge invariant S-matrix elements, which do not depend on ##\xi## are cnsistent with unitarity and a true Hilbert-space structure.

    If you use another than the unitary gauge, there are formal Goldstone modes in the Feynman rules. As the Faddeev-Popov ghosts they, however, do not represent particles in the physical spectrum but compensate unphysical degrees of freedom from the gauge fields. The unitary gauge shows, what's physically behind the Higgs mechanism: The would-be Goldstone modes are "absorbed" into the gauge fields to provide the additional 3rd (spatially longitudinal) polarization degree of freedom a massive vector field has compared to a massless vector field, which only has the two spatially transverse polarizations for each field mode. So in an arbitrary gauge, the counting is like this: For each massive gauge-boson degree of freedom you have 4 vector-field components, one would-be Goldstone field and two Faddeev-Popov ghost field degrees of freedom. Alltogether the would-be Goldstone modes and the Faddeev-Popov ghosts act together to precisely compensate the unphysical degrees of freedom in the model.

    I still do not know what a Ziggs boson might be. Do you have a reference to Susskind's lecture, where he uses this term? I also don't know, what the introduction of funny names might be good for, but perhaps it's just funny and makes the lecture a bit more entertaining to keep the students' attention?
  12. Jan 8, 2015 #11

    Doug Huffman

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    LS nicknamed the Z-boson and its weakly interacting hyper-charge field (as I recall, I did not write out his comments) sarcastically and humorously, commenting on the arbitrariness of naming rules, and for convenience in his oral presentation. In the same lecture he refused to differentiate among all of the flavors of quark except where it was essential to his objective, in this case the triangular process involving top and anti-top quarks and the Higgs.

    A concern is that there is no hypothesized end to the multiplication of particles and fields under the standard model and that sensible names may be exhausted.

    I found his explanation of the 'creation' of mass quite clear and clarified by his explanation of the proton constituents.

    is the YouTube version of the lecture, Demystifying the Higgs Boson with Leonard Susskind, 30 July 2012 The time mark may be noted in post #9 above.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
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