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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)
According to wikipedia, the higgs boson particle has a mass of approximately 126.5GeV/c^2.
1. First of all, i’m not sure why they use a unit of energy for the mass. I know of energy mass equivalence, but doesn’t something with a lot of energy have the potential to be converted into mass but it isn’t mass yet?
2. Also, i’m not sure how the higgs boson can have a mass at all if it is the particle that gives things mass. Do all higgs boson particles then have to come in pairs so that they can interact with each other? Can a higgs particle exist on its own?
3. Also, when the higgs particles interact (either with objects or with themselves if they can), what is transferred between them? For example, a photon is exchanged between two electrons when they interact. So what is exchanged between a higgs boson and an object? Is it strings like in string theory?
Thank ou in advance for any replies.