View Full Version : Higgs/gravity question

CJSF

2010-Jun-25, 04:00 PM

I am still trying to get my head around some of the concepts regarding particle physics. I know I am significantly hampered by mild dyscalculia.

In general relativity, gravity is described by distortions in space. Is it possible that the Higgs particle is responsible for warping space, therefore no graviton exists to transmit a gravitational force?

In other, broader terms, what is the relationship between Higgs and gravity thought to be?

Thanks in advance for your patience in trying to answer this for me.

CJSF

cosmocrazy

2010-Jun-25, 05:23 PM

I can't recall exactly but as I understand it the Higgs boson is theoretically regarded as the particle that gives matter its "mass". How this fits in with gravitons and QM i'm not sure.

Shaula

2010-Jun-26, 09:20 PM

Gravity is an attractive force which pulls together and objects with mass. It doesn't actually say where mass comes from. The Higgs mechanism is essentially a proposed mechanism for mass to appear. Both of these are tied in to the Standard Model and not General Relativity. No one knows for sure how quantum effects and gravity can really be reconciled. So it is a bit premature to say how the Higgs works in a GR sense!

In essence GR gives a way to describe gravity as a distortion to spacetime. However at the shortest scales, when gravity is high, it breaks. It simply cannot tell us much about the most extreme conditions (such as those in the very beginning). The Standard Model has at its heart a load of symmetries which have nothing like mass in them - the Higgs is how it is proposed to appear. The details are very complex and not really as simple as there being universal molasses - my head generally starts to ache after Nambu-Goldstone bosons! These two theories don't play nice and so it is hard to even guess how the still unobserved bits of the SM fit into GR.

Sorry that is not a more complete answer but AFAIK you are asking a question for which we don't have a good answer yet.

ShinAce

2010-Jun-28, 03:11 PM

Gravity is an attractive force which pulls together and objects with mass. It doesn't actually say where mass comes from. The Higgs mechanism is essentially a proposed mechanism for mass to appear. Both of these are tied in to the Standard Model and not General Relativity. No one knows for sure how quantum effects and gravity can really be reconciled. So it is a bit premature to say how the Higgs works in a GR sense!

In essence GR gives a way to describe gravity as a distortion to spacetime. However at the shortest scales, when gravity is high, it breaks. It simply cannot tell us much about the most extreme conditions (such as those in the very beginning). The Standard Model has at its heart a load of symmetries which have nothing like mass in them - the Higgs is how it is proposed to appear. The details are very complex and not really as simple as there being universal molasses - my head generally starts to ache after Nambu-Goldstone bosons! These two theories don't play nice and so it is hard to even guess how the still unobserved bits of the SM fit into GR.

Sorry that is not a more complete answer but AFAIK you are asking a question for which we don't have a good answer yet.

I disagree.

Gravity is a warping of space caused by all forms of energy. Potential energy(heat), mass, massless particles, etc...

The Higgs boson is how massive particles acquire mass. Yet some particles remain massless.

CJSF

2010-Jun-28, 04:42 PM

Would it be possible for the warping of space to be creating what we perceive as mass, rather than the other way around? The interaction of the Higgs boson with the other particles warping space in particular ways? I'm not trying to get ATM - just trying to understand what physicists are actually looking for and what ideas might be tested or discovered.

CJSF

cosmocrazy

2010-Jun-28, 08:24 PM

Would it be possible for the warping of space to be creating what we perceive as mass, rather than the other way around? The interaction of the Higgs boson with the other particles warping space in particular ways? I'm not trying to get ATM - just trying to understand what physicists are actually looking for and what ideas might be tested or discovered.

CJSF

I think Scientists are looking for ways of quantifying mass and gravity, hoping to find particles which are responsible for giving matter mass (Higgs Boson) and gravity its force carrier (graviton). How this will fit in with relativity i'm not sure about.

Nereid

2010-Jun-28, 09:21 PM

Gravity is an attractive force which pulls together and objects with mass. It doesn't actually say where mass comes from. The Higgs mechanism is essentially a proposed mechanism for mass to appear. Both of these are tied in to the Standard Model and not General Relativity. No one knows for sure how quantum effects and gravity can really be reconciled. So it is a bit premature to say how the Higgs works in a GR sense!

In essence GR gives a way to describe gravity as a distortion to spacetime. However at the shortest scales, when gravity is high, it breaks. It simply cannot tell us much about the most extreme conditions (such as those in the very beginning). The Standard Model has at its heart a load of symmetries which have nothing like mass in them - the Higgs is how it is proposed to appear. The details are very complex and not really as simple as there being universal molasses - my head generally starts to ache after Nambu-Goldstone bosons! These two theories don't play nice and so it is hard to even guess how the still unobserved bits of the SM fit into GR.

Sorry that is not a more complete answer but AFAIK you are asking a question for which we don't have a good answer yet.I disagree.

Gravity is a warping of space caused by all forms of energy. Potential energy(heat), mass, massless particles, etc...

The Higgs boson is how massive particles acquire mass. Yet some particles remain massless.

It seems you just agreed with Shaula!

What, specifically, do you think is wrong with Shaula's response?

BTW, the usual way to express, in English, the effect of mass-energy-momentum on stuff is to say that it produces curvature of space-time (not space).

Nereid

2010-Jun-28, 09:25 PM

Would it be possible for the warping of space to be creating what we perceive as mass, rather than the other way around? The interaction of the Higgs boson with the other particles warping space in particular ways? I'm not trying to get ATM - just trying to understand what physicists are actually looking for and what ideas might be tested or discovered.

CJSF

That'd require a new theory of gravity, at least.

At the moment, AFAIK, there is no such theory (except, perhaps, string theory/M-theory, LQG, etc), so it's nothing more than speculation today ...

ShinAce

2010-Jun-28, 09:37 PM

It seems you just agreed with Shaula!

What, specifically, do you think is wrong with Shaula's response?

BTW, the usual way to express, in English, the effect of mass-energy-momentum on stuff is to say that it produces curvature of space-time (not space).

I meant to go back and shorten Shaula's quote to "Gravity is an attractive force which pulls together and objects with mass."

I was hoping to point out that the geometry of spacetime is affected by matter and energy, whereas the Higgs only gives mass to certain particles.

Infinitenight2093

2010-Jun-28, 10:05 PM

Would it be possible for the warping of space to be creating what we perceive as mass, rather than the other way around? The interaction of the Higgs boson with the other particles warping space in particular ways? I'm not trying to get ATM - just trying to understand what physicists are actually looking for and what ideas might be tested or discovered.

CJSF

Correct me if I am wrong, but are you saying that while gravity warps space-time, it could not do so without mass (Higgs Boson) so therefore the Higgs B should be codependent on gravity?

Tensor

2010-Jun-28, 10:12 PM

I'm not quite sure how to tile this, so if it sounds condescending, it's not intentional. OTOH, if it seems to be above your understanding, I'm more than happy to continue on with a simpler explanation.

In general relativity, gravity is described by distortions in space. Is it possible that the Higgs particle is responsible for warping space, therefore no graviton exists to transmit a gravitational force?

Ok, first off, General Relativity (GR) requires a continuous manifold to work. IOW, there can't be any kind of discreet steps in spacetime or in the gravitational field itself, as we find in Quantum Field Theory (QFT). If there is a particle, it would have a discreet value, as the rest of the bosons. So, there can't be any kind of particle, as we find in QFT, to produce the warping of spacetime, as we find in GR. The Graviton is just the name given to the boson that would exist as the force carrier for gravity. As of now, QFT has problems working with a particle that has the properties that a gravitational boson has to have.

In other, broader terms, what is the relationship between Higgs and gravity thought to be?

Currently? None. While we think of mass as the main feature in determining the gravitational effect something has, in GR it is the energy and the pressure that determines an objects gravity. So while the Higgs may give vector bosons mass, they would still have energy and, as a result, contribute to gravity, even without the Higgs.

Having said that, there is a bit more to the story. The Higgs was originally postulated as a mechanism to break symmetry in particle physics. It was particularly useful in combining the Electromagnetic and the Weak forces into the Electro-weak. It is required to give the mass to the bosons that mediate the weak forces.

Now, the Higgs is a zero spin boson. This means that, as a field, it is a scalar field. The Graviton is a spin two boson. This means, that as a field, gravity is a tensor field. So you can see that as bosons, the Higgs, can't be the Graviton. There are some Scalar-Tensor Gravitational theories out there. One, by Dehnen and Frommer published in 1992 uses the Higgs scalar field and a tensor field to describe gravity. There doesn't seem to be any kind of large upwelling of support for this, so I'm not quite sure how well this actually works. That doesn't mean that there won't be some type of scalar-tensor or even a scalar-vector-tensor theory somewhere down the road.

Thanks in advance for your patience in trying to answer this for me.

CJSF

2010-Jun-28, 10:14 PM

I am asking if it's possible that the Higgs boson interacts with other particles and causes space to warp in particluar ways depending on those particles, which we perceive as gravity. The more massive the object (particles), the more warping, hence more gravity. I am asking if the Higgs boson could be responsible for gravity (as in distorting space), by the way it "creates" mass in particles, rather than gravity being a force, carried by gravitons?

Please understand that I am really at the limits of what I know here, and the responses I am getting are making it clearer that I likely need to know more before I can ask much more!

CJSF

CJSF

2010-Jun-28, 10:17 PM

Tensor, thank you for the reply. I'm surprised that I understand at least some of what you posted! :) I'll try to read up some more and learn. I think I see where I'm confusing things in my questions. It might take me a while, but I'm not going anywhere soon.

CJSF

Tensor

2010-Jun-29, 01:54 AM

Tensor, thank you for the reply. I'm surprised that I understand at least some of what you posted! :) I'll try to read up some more and learn. I think I see where I'm confusing things in my questions. It might take me a while, but I'm not going anywhere soon.

CJSF

If you have any questions on my answer, feel free to ask me about it. I'll be more than happy to make it simpler where I need to, or expand on it where you want me to. Of course, there is always the chance that I can point you toward some sites on the web for a better explanation. Or it may be that it is simply above my understanding. Either way, I'll let you know.

trinitree88

2010-Jul-01, 08:28 PM

CJSF. There's something else a particle with mass does when it is placed in "space". By "space" I'll say Minkowski spacetime within which we all live. If the particle is charged, it will interact electromagnetically with the CMB which is omnipresent in "space", and whether it is charged or not, it will interact weakly with the ambient neutrino sea. So, the distortion of spacetime which you rightly ascribe to a General relativistic effect upon the creation of your massive particle (in supernatural style), and it's commensurate outward spread at c, is accompanied by other things, amongst them a distortion in the ambient neutrino sea. pete

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