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Thread: Please explain a Higgs Field in spacetime to me and how they can create Higgs Bosons from collisions in Proton Smashers

  1. #1 Please explain a Higgs Field in spacetime to me and how they can create Higgs Bosons from collisions in Proton Smashers 
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    So are there a Higgs boson flying every which way throughout spacetime? or are they crowded together? and how do you create something that's more massive that the proton particles they smash to make them to find their signal?


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    The Higgs field is here. The bosons are not.


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    We add energy to the protons by accelerating them. When they collide, their momentum cancels out and they explode with an energy equal to the sum of their kinetic energies along with their mass energies. The interesting thing that is a result of quantum mechanics, is that when we smash two protons together, the resulting debris is not just composed of those two protons, but instead is a random soup of particles, each with their own mass energy and kinetic energy such that the total sum is exactly the energy we put in to the original collision. We are hoping to be able to get the kinetic energy high enough that there is now enough total energy to create a higgs boson. This is tough because we don't actually get to control what particles come out of the debris, and even when we have enough energy it is still more likely that a large number of smaller particles are created rather than the higgs and few other particles.

    Its not that there is a bunch of higgs bosons flying around that we are trying to catch. It is better to look at it like there is a field permeating all of space and we are trying to excite the field, the resulting vibration would be called a higgs boson.

    The actual details are much more messy and I'm sure I'm not really doing the real explanation justice but this should give you a gist of whats going on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheObserver View Post
    We add energy to the protons by accelerating them. When they collide, their momentum cancels out and they explode with an energy equal to the sum of their kinetic energies along with their mass energies. The interesting thing that is a result of quantum mechanics, is that when we smash two protons together, the resulting debris is not just composed of those two protons, but instead is a random soup of particles, each with their own mass energy and kinetic energy such that the total sum is exactly the energy we put in to the original collision. We are hoping to be able to get the kinetic energy high enough that there is now enough total energy to create a higgs boson. This is tough because we don't actually get to control what particles come out of the debris, and even when we have enough energy it is still more likely that a large number of smaller particles are created rather than the higgs and few other particles. Its not that there is a bunch of higgs bosons flying around that we are trying to catch. It is better to look at it like there is a field permeating all of space and we are trying to excite the field, the resulting vibration would be called a higgs boson. The actual details are much more messy and I'm sure I'm not really doing the real explanation justice but this should give you a gist of whats going on.
    but what is the higgs field? if it's a certain nonzero energy then it must have mass too right? every other field has a messenger particle right? So, it's a higgs boson in this case? how else would the energy be associated with spacetime everywhere?
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheObserver View Post
    The actual details are much more messy and I'm sure I'm not really doing the real explanation justice but this should give you a gist of whats going on.
    That is probably about as accurate an explanation as is possible without the full gauge theory math.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    how exactly would the higgs boson give other particles their mass too? If only particles such as photons (or neutrinos?) can pass freely/are not resisted by higgs bosons and all other particles interact with them to give themselves mass - what is the nature of the interaction?
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballyhoo View Post
    how exactly would the higgs boson give other particles their mass too? If only particles such as photons (or neutrinos?) can pass freely/are not resisted by higgs bosons and all other particles interact with them to give themselves mass - what is the nature of the interaction?
    Via the Higgs mechanism. That's about as simple as it gets.

    You want more?

    The next step up is:
    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    The spontaneous symmetry breaking of the underlying local symmetry triggers conversion of components of this Higgs field to Goldstone bosons which interact with (at least some of) the other fields in the theory, so as to produce mass terms for (at least some of) the gauge bosons.
    Photons correspond to a part of the symmetry that remains unbroken.

    After that you are into the math.

    Sorry, there is no simple but meaningful explanation.

    Peter Higgs himself (I think) came up with an analogy: Think of the Higgs field as a number of people milling around at a party. When a famous guest (a boson) enters the room all the Higgs particles crowd around slowing it down. That is effectively giving it mass.

    I don't think that tells you anything useful, though.
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    Will these goldstone bosons be produced in the smashing experiments? or only the Higgs boson? Are the goldstone bosons a decay product of the Higgs boson or merely associated with it? How do the characteristics of the higgs boson differ from the goldstone bosons?
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