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stutefish
2009-Jan-13, 06:54 PM
According to the mainstream "Higgs theory",

1. Is "mass" imparted by the Higgs particle?

2. Or is it imparted by the Higgs field, and the particle is just the field's energy in particle form, if we smack a baryon hard enough to "knock the Higgs field loose" for an instant or two?

3. Or is the mass imparted by some other mechanism entirely, which I have totally failed to approximate?

Thanks,

- stutefish

gzhpcu
2009-Jan-13, 07:32 PM
The Higgs particle is one quantum of the Higgs field. The Higgs field permeates spacetime and imparts mass to the massless fundamental particles.

Cougar
2009-Jan-13, 07:43 PM
Wiki has a reasonably good article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higgs_boson) on this.

sabianq
2009-Jan-13, 08:20 PM
we do not know
it can neither be said that it is a field that matter has to wade through in order to get its mass
nor can it be said that it is a boson particle that happens when two baryonic particles get close to each other.
any answer by anyone is pure conjecture.
until scientists actually find the particle or confirm that it does not exist, any theories as to what it is and how it works is just an untestable theory.

but in general,
the Peter Higgs suggests that there are two possible answers,

one the field theory suggests that as particles move through empty space, there is a field of non-energetic stuff that the particle moves through, as the particle moves through the field, the stuff in the field attaches to the particle and imparts mass to it.

the other suggestion is that there is a yet undetected particle of the boson family that imparts mass to two particles when they get close to each other.

and the latter (the boson particle) is one of the things the LHC is expected to find.

the standard model suggests that there should be a boson that that gives mass to particles.

if it is not found, then we need to look for different answers.

Celestial Mechanic
2009-Jan-13, 08:33 PM
One small correction: the Higgs particle does not give most baryons their masses, protons and neutrons being the main exceptions. The Higgs particle gives masses to quarks and charged leptons, but not neutrinos. Some other mechanism has to be invoked to give neutrinos masses.

The masses of the up and down quarks that make up the proton and neutron are generally estimated to be between 3 and 7 MeV/c2, while the masses of the proton and neutron (IIRC) are 938.7 and 939.5 MeV/c2 respectively. Most of the mass of the proton and neutron appears to be due to the chromodynamic fields within.

stutefish
2009-Jan-14, 04:10 PM
Thanks, everybody! That was very helpful!

TobiasTheViking
2009-Jan-16, 05:47 PM
One small correction: the Higgs particle does not give most baryons their masses, protons and neutrons being the main exceptions. The Higgs particle gives masses to quarks and charged leptons, but not neutrinos. Some other mechanism has to be invoked to give neutrinos masses.

The masses of the up and down quarks that make up the proton and neutron are generally estimated to be between 3 and 7 MeV/c2, while the masses of the proton and neutron (IIRC) are 938.7 and 939.5 MeV/c2 respectively. Most of the mass of the proton and neutron appears to be due to the chromodynamic fields within.

Wait.. why is that? why can't the higgs give mass to a neutrino?

Tensor
2009-Jan-18, 05:58 AM
Wait.. why is that? why can't the higgs give mass to a neutrino?

It has to do with mirror symmetry. Quarks and leptons can be either left or right handed. When these particles interact with the Higgs, they change their handedness (either left to right or right to left) when they get their mass. Neutrinos, on the other hand, by the standard model, only come left handed. So, if they interact with a Higgs, they can't change their handedness (since there are no right handed neutrinios) and thus can't get mass.
Now, there are a few other ways where the neutrino may get mass, but since, in the standard model, neutrinos are massless, these other ways are outside the standard model. We will have to modify the standard model since we have experimental evidence that neutrinos do indeed have mass. One way is to have right handed neutrinos. Either have the interactions 26 orders of magnitued less than left handed neutrinos or the right handed neutrinos that don't react to the strong, weak, or EM force.

The third way would be to have a very heavy right handed Neutrino. The Heavy neutrino would be too heavy for a normal reaction to create due to energy conservation. However, due to the Uncertainty Principle, it could borrow the energy for a very short time before the heavy neutrino changed back into a left handed neutrino with mass.

mugaliens
2009-Jan-18, 06:17 PM
Do I get a vote? I vote for the "very heavy right handed Neutrino." We can call it the Bluton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluto). We could also refer to it as the "very heavy-handed neutrino."

TobiasTheViking
2009-Jan-18, 11:23 PM
It has to do with mirror symmetry. Quarks and leptons can be either left or right handed. When these particles interact with the Higgs, they change their handedness (either left to right or right to left) when they get their mass. Neutrinos, on the other hand, by the standard model, only come left handed. So, if they interact with a Higgs, they can't change their handedness (since there are no right handed neutrinios) and thus can't get mass.
I knew about the left and right handedness, i just didn't know that it interacted with the Higgs in that way, or at all.

Interesting.

Thanks for the information

Sincerely
Tobias
hmm, data.. yum.