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Gauge Theory and Higgs Mechanism

What is Gauge Theory and how does it relate to electroweak symmetry? How does the breaking of a symmetry cause a reaction such as the obtaining of mass?


Asked Markus


English: An overview of particle physics


In particle physics, the Higgs mechanism is a kind of mass generation mechanism, a process that gives mass to elementary particles.


Please read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higgs_mechanism


Gauge theory is the successful field theory explaining the dynamics of elementary particles.


Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauge_theory




You can explore the hyperlinks provided for more information.




How does Higg’s Boson transfer mass?


I just have a quick question. I know that the Higgs field transfers mass to particles and that e.g. W and Z bosons have more mass transferred to them, so they have more mass than an electron.

My question is – how does the field transfer mass? Surely if the Higgs boson transfers mass than it would require energy to move it? Also, where would the Higgs boson “go” after it has given up its mass?

If the Higgs boson isn’t the thing transferring the mass, then how is it transferred? Is it like objects moving through treacle, so as they interact with the field the W boson is slowed down more by it? Or have I got it completely wrong?!

I’ve done a Master’s in maths so I’m comfortable in the mathematical side of it if that’s needed for an explanation, but my experience of quantum physics is limited to reading popular science books!

(Jonathan asked this)

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