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Thread: electroweak symmetry breaking

  1. #1 electroweak symmetry breaking 
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    hi all. am going to a lecture on elecroweak symmetry breaking at the L H C. can anyone give me an idiots explanation. love physics and don't want it the lecture to go over my head totally. thanks


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    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    It is really quite complicated, and I don't know what your level of knowledge is.
    The basic idea is this : before the symmetry breaking happens, the weak force and electromagnetism are unified in one electroweak force; the corresponding force carriers are the W(+,0,-) and the B(0) bosons. Spontaneous symmetry breaking through the Higgs mechanism splits these forces into the weak force ( W(+,-) & Z(0) boson ), and electromagnetism ( photons ); this is because the W(0) and the B(0) bosons of the original gauge field merge into the Z(0) and the photon. The W & Z particles become massive due to interaction with the Higgs.
    If you need a mathematical explanation, you can start with the Wikipedia article :

    Electroweak interaction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    and then work your way through the references given there.
    Hope this helps


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  4. #3  
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    thanks for the reply. if i get this right it is to do with the forming of the fundamental forces just after the big bang??? jon
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    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by confusedjon View Post
    thanks for the reply. if i get this right it is to do with the forming of the fundamental forces just after the big bang??? jon
    Well, it is one of the stages of symmetry breaking in the early universe, yes...
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