Higgs boson: The 'God Particle' explained

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
The LHC confirmed the existence of the Higgs field and the mechanism that gives rise to mass
Sorry, I still don't understand this. I can see the snowfield analogy, but I can't really relate this to mass. I don't see the connection between sinking into the snow, and mass.

Cat :)
 
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What they are saying is the rigid Higgs field permeates all of space and you "latch onto" it depending on how much mass you have. This makes it difficult to move and is what causes inertia. Its like being stuck in a snowfield. Stand still and you feel no force, try moving and it retards your motion.
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
billslugg, thanks for explaining, but standing still you sink in it, and moving fast, you keep going. I think I am partly beginning to get it, but I am not there yet. It is the "latch onto" bit I don't understand.

Cat :)
 
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The snow analogy is somewhat faulty. Higgs field is invisible, permeates all space, is rigid and couples to mass based on how massive the object is. It is harder to move more massive particles.
It is hard to envision an invisible field that can restrain your movement, but then invisible magnetic fields are no easier to understand.
This is the nice thing about studying these fields (cosmology, high energy physics, quantum mechanics), no one understands them! We're all in the same boat.
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
billslugg, as you may have noticed, I am a great fan of Korzybski (Science and Sanity et al..
Higgs field is invisible, permeates all space, is rigid and couples to mass based on how massive the object is.
. . . . . . which depends on being "coupled" by the Higgs field . . . . . . which couples to mass.

No criticism whatsoever is intended. I am just pointing out that this seems to be cyclic A couples to B which depends on A.

Cat :)
 
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An informative discussion, thanks. My simplistic concept has been, if I were a "run of the mill" particle, passing through a Higgs field that would be akin to a human passing through a fog of different densities. Thus, the human/particle "gets wet", i.e.: picks up mass in differing amounts. Conversely, Gravity is akin to the dew on a field. A human walks through the field and only the shoes get wet, but consistently so, i.e.: equal weight, (pull). The realities of the quantum world are fascinating.
 
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These "fields that permeate space" sure sound a lot like the "ether" that supposedly just is not there to support light propagation as a wave.

Now a "Higgs field" is "rigid" in space, and trying to move through it is difficult if we have mass? So, shouldn't we be able to detect our motion through it, direction and speed? Apparently not, because somehow, once we get moving through it, it no longer offers resistance, until we try to change our speed.

And, with "space" expanding" all the time, and the Higgs field therefore must be expanding with it, "rigid" does not seem to be a word that can convey the proper analogous experience to actually understand this.
 
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The aether is not "supposedly" not there, it is not there. Just to clear that up.

Higgs field rigidity is an imperfect analogy used in a struggle to understand a difficult concept. It is only when a mass changes speed does it encounter resistance from the field. Once moving it does not hinder the mass. It is sort of like how ketchup stays solid until it starts moving. Does that help?
 
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Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
billslugg
It is only when a mass changes speed does it encounter resistance from the field.
Mass changing its speed, sounds very like acceleration (or deceleration) to me.

Once moving it does not hinder the mass. It is sort of like how ketchup stays solid until it starts moving.
Sounds like Aristotle's Law of Motion to me. Doesn't ketchup stay still until it is pushed or pulled?

Does that help?
Maybe little, but I am not there yet. It still sounds more like aether to me.

Cat :)
 
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The aether is not "supposedly" not there, it is not there. Just to clear that up.

Higgs field rigidity is an imperfect analogy used in a struggle to understand a difficult concept. It is only when a mass changes speed does it encounter resistance from the field. Once moving it does not hinder the mass. It is sort of like how ketchup stays solid until it starts moving. Does that help?
Bill, it seems inconsistent to me to claim that space is filled with a "field" that particle "waves" travel through by making disturbances, while at the same time claiming that there is definite proof that there is no "aether". This "aether" was proposed as some sort of "thing" that waves can travel through, not necessarily a physical medium with "mass". "Luminiferous aether", was "a supposed medium permeating space that was thought to be the carrier of light waves." (Wikipedia) All we have done is resurrect that hypothesis by calling this hypothesized "aether" a "field". It is basically the same "duality" as accepting that photons have properties of both particles and waves, so that they can travel through the "nothing" that we now call a "field" instead of "aether".

All the Michelson–Morley experiment did was to prove that it is not possible to detect any difference in the speed of light in any direction. That lead to the assumption that time needed to be included in the hypotenuse of any trajectory in "space-time" so as to represent an invariant hypotenuse (i.e., x^2 + y^2 + z^2 + (ct)^2) in an "inertial frame of reference" (i.e., no change in speed), which is the basis for the Theory of Special Relativity, relating the passage of time with speed.

Now, we have a postulated "Higgs field" that is the medium for the propagation of the Higgs boson, which somehow creates the mass that we cannot tell is moving through the electromagnetic field in which massless photons propagates. It somehow has an "imperfect analogy" to anything we can understand by experiments related to mass, in that it provides resistance only to acceleration but not to constant speed.

So, how does this "Higgs field" and its disturbances (i.e., Higgs bosons) relate to General Relativity, which deals with relationships among accelerations of masses, "real" passages of time, and changes in apparent mass?

Are we going to need to hypothesize particles of time in a time field? Yes, I know that people are working on such theories, but I don't understand those, either.

My concern with all of these "fields" is that they ultimately come back to needing to accept the "duality" of photons as particles and waves, without any underlying explanation of how waves can travel through nothing. We are just calling that "nothing" a "field" instead of an "aether". And, we are extending that acceptance to an ever-growing list of additional "fields" for other sub-atomic particle/waves.

So, I wonder if this is really "understanding" or a just a consolidated way of thinking that is a "house of cards" that will fall apart when some really fundamental truth is discovered.

And, because the Big Bang Theory is totally dependent on this way of thinking for times before the cosmic microwave background was created, it makes me wonder just how realistic that is, as well. After all, everything we have is inferences from tracks of sub-atomic "debris" that results from smashing protons together at extreme velocities. It seems to me that there is a lot of assuming going on with respect to how that relates to postulated conditions when there were no protons and everything was a bunch of perturbed fields.
 
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I am sorry but I do not understand physics well enough to answer all your questions. I simply trust the Standard Model is the best we have. I struggle to understand it.

Fields are an essential part of the standard model. We know they are there
and we know their influence but as yet no one can explain "why". We will
continue to gain a deeper understanding as we learn more. And, yes, there is a lot of assuming going on. But we have no other choice.

Waves do not travel "through nothing". Take the photon for example. Every charged particle has an electric field that extends throughout the entire universe. If the particle is acellerated then a kink develops in the field and moves outward at the speed of light. So, in effect, each particle has its own ether. MM conclusively established there is no "fixed ether" that we are swimming through. If you can't understand that then there is nothing I can do for you.
 
Bill, Now you are saying that the electrically charged particle creates a "field" that goes to "infinity" (or the "edge for the universe" whichever comes first). And, photons are "kinks" in those fields. But, there seems to be a "chicken or egg" aspect to that "theory" in that the electrons are supposedly manifestations of "fields" themselves.

And, now the Higgs boson is a disruption in the Higgs field that is "rigid" with space, and it is supposed to create mass and inertia. But we supposedly still can't find our (mass's) velocity through this field as we measure our velocity through space?

I am seeing a clash of concepts that seem to be just "accepted" rather than understood.

I don't agree that " MM conclusively established there is no "fixed ether" that we are swimming through." What it established is that we cannot detect our motion through whatever photons propagate through, currently called a "field" rather than an "aether". If it isn't "nothing" then it must be the opposite, which is "something". Putting a name on it doesn't explain it or help with understanding it. Arguing about the name we put on it is just silly.

The fundamental question remains: "Why can photons travel through something by disturbing it in wave-like ways, but we cannot see our own motion through the same thing, whatever it is?"

it seems to me that the fundamental understanding will involve better understanding "time". We already have a lot of evidence that time is more malleable than most of us think.
 
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"Why can photons travel through something by disturbing it in wave-like ways, but we cannot see our own motion through the same thing, whatever it is?"

Photons are kinks in an established field. We can detect our motion through the field simply by virtue of measuring the strength of the field as it drops off by an inverse square function.
This applies to the charge force (electric field) and to gravity. There is no such thing as "magnetic field", it is a mathematical construct to account for relatvistic effects of moving charges.
 
"We can detect our motion through the field simply by virtue of measuring the strength of the field as it drops off by an inverse square function."

I think you are conflating two concepts.

I understand "electric fields" in the sense that I can make them and modulate them to make "radio waves". And, I can logically extend that to higher and lower frequencies. But, those "fields" as you say, diminish by the inverse square law with distance from the electrical entity which "creates" them, all of which we can measure.

(Somewhat strangely, where there is a lot of electrically "neutral" matter, which just means balanced charges that must make uneven field forces only on atomic scales, photons travel slower than when they are not near matter.)

On the other hand, physicists talk about "fields that permeate space" as having perturbations that are particles, some with masses, which then "warp" space.

So, again, it looks like a chicken or egg first problem.

The BBT people seem to claim that everything is just a perturbation in various pre-existing fields of forces that somehow "separated" from some unified field due to "space" "expanding" in tiny fractions of a second to create the whole universe. Without "particles", what created those initial "fields"?

It seems that we are again into the "something from nothing" process, but at a time after the "big bang" beginning, albeit by just a tiny, tiny, tiny ........ tiny fraction of a second after it.
 
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You say I am conflating two concepts but then you mention one. I can't make enough sense of what you are saying in order to respond.
BTW - all photons travel at exactly the same speed all the time. Until you accept this as truth, we are talking two different languages.
 
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BTW - all photons travel at exactly the same speed all the time. Until you accept this as truth, we are talking two different languages.
Bill, I said that photons travel slower in masses that "refract light". Are you saying that light travels at the same speed everywhere? Then how does it change direction through glass lenses?

As for seeing only one concept instead of two in your previous post, I am saying that you, or the theory you are quoting, or some combination of those, is jumping back and forth between particles being perturbations in force fields and particles causing the force fields. BBT says there were fields before particle existed, and they gave rise to particles. You said that electrons cause electromagnetic fields in all of space, and that photons are perturbations in those electric fields. But, BBT says that electrons themselves are perturbations a field.
 
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Yes, I am saying that light travels the same speed everywhere, all the time. In materials with a refractive index larger than 1.000 the photon interacts with a bound electron. The band gap of the electron is greater than the photon energy so the photon cannot be annihilated. The photon raises the electron to a higher state briefly, the electron goes back to its original state and the photon continues on phase shifted. Basically, the photon stopped briefly to interact with an electron and then continued on. During its flight between electrons it travels at the speed of light. The time spent interacting with the electron adds to the transit time between electrons to make it appear as if the photon was travelling slower than the speed of light.

And yes, electrons are perturbations in a field. They also create their own field. There are many types of fields.
 
We are just having problems with trying to select words that need to somehow convey something which we actually do not understand well enough to put into words that we can all understand. So, we are getting nowhere. For instance, your "phase shifted" photon just another way of saying that it was delayed in time. How it was delayed is the real issue. You are saying that it is because there was time spent in the photon being absorbed and re-emitted by an electron, which is also a "wave" in a field around an atom. But, to my knowledge that is just a conceptualization. Has anybody done an experiment that verifies that theory? Or is it just a conceptualization that allow one to avoid trying to think about how an photon wave could be always traveling at the speed of light in a vacuum even when it is not in a vacuum?
 
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Here is what I was able to find:

The branch of physics that deals with the interaction of charged particles and photons is called Quantum Electrodynamics. It was developed by Dirac, Feynman and others. Numerous experiments have been done to validate it including measurement of the fine structure constant. It is the only theory that is able to successfully combine quantum mechanics and relativity. It is one of the most thoroughly tested theories in physics and predicts phenomena to the highest level of precision of any theory.
 
That really does not address the question of whether there are any experiments that demonstrate that light travels between atoms in matter at the same speed that it travels in a vacuum, and is only slowed down by the time it takes for absorption and reemission at electrons in the matter.

Looking at this https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/283575/refraction-and-how-light-bends it seems that others have asked the same question about how light refracts as photons, and have not received explanations, either.

My problem is not with the development of theories, but rather with the acceptance of unproven theories as reality that must not be questioned. That is what kills progress when the "herd" goes out on an incorrect tangent and does not accept that what they think is still an unproven theory.

So, my preference it to say something like "according to the XYZ theory, such and such is how that happens" and maybe add "but according to the PQR theory, it happens this other way."

This exchange has strayed pretty far from the Higgs field and the Higgs boson. My problem with that is mainly that the Higgs field is said to have properties that other fields don't have for reasons we don't understand and have postulated to make the theory fit some scant observations. It seems that all one has to do is postulate a "field" and assign it whatever properties fit the theory, plenty of unconstrained theoretical parameters available and no experimental proof required.

I don't have any problem with people developing theories like that. But I do have a problem with people who think they can't be wrong about something like that. So, I keep asking the question "How do you actually know that is right?" Any answer that does not involve an experiment demonstrating the stated effect comes up short, in my estimation.
 
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I don't know that anything is right. In science, we can only prove things wrong.

The Standard Model, which includes, QED, is probably right but could be wrong. My understanding is that there is overwhelming evidence for it, including numerous experiments. The reading I did told me that it is one of the most tested theories and has predicted phenomena with unprecidented accuracy. I am not going to spend any time entertaining an effort to debunk it until I understand it well enough to do so. That is a long way off.

Why should I cite experiments that support QED when you won't even accept Michelson Morely?

The Higgs particle has been detected by the acellerator at CERN. This is hardly "scant evidence".
 
Bill, the difference between you and me has to do with keeping the focus on the differences between what has been shown by experiment and what is only being predicted by theory.

For instance, when the theories of relativity were firs developed, there were predictions that all sorts of strange things would occur with respect to measuring time at high speeds and in high gravitational fields. Subsequent experiments have, so far, demonstrated that the predictions we have been able to test with actual measurements have turned out to be true. But, that theory also makes predictions that go to infinity at some points that we are not yet able to test (and may never be able to test).

What I am saying is that we really can't just assume that all predictions of a theory must be correct because it has met the tests under the conditions where we have been able to make those tests. The theory may be incomplete, and missing terms may make substantial contributions to the results in cases where we cannot (yet?) test in extreme conditions.

So, I am open to multiple ways to think about things we have not been able to test, yet. And I resist statements that try to claim that some model prediction is true simply on the basis of a model predicting that is the way it works.

I am also highly skeptical of models that rely on the "tuning" of unconstrained parameters in order to make model predictions match observations. As I have pointed out, before, the Big Bang Theory uses several "tuned" parameters to account for 95% of what we observe as "reality", and the theory takes the whole of reality to a beginning that involves parameter infinities and "something from nothing" conjectures.

So, there is plenty of room to find new, fundamental principles that can alter those model predictions.

Doubting that a model is complete enough to make reliable predictions in some situations is not the same as "debunking" a model. It is simply a way of focusing on what is actually known and what is speculation based on what we currently know. It is the difference between saying "That must be true, even though it seems really weird, because the model says it is true," compared to "That is a really weird prediction, I wonder if we are missing something in that model, or maybe misperceiving something that we are using for the conceptual basis of that model."
 
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You are assuming that Einstein developed relativity out of thin air. He based his theory upon numerous experiments that showed it in action. It was Maxwell's equations, based on Faraday's (and other's) experiments that stimulated Einstein to develop relativity.

Einstein was preplexed at the fact that a magnetic field occurred only when a charged particle was moving relative to an observer. This is a direct observation of relativity and was verified by numerous experiments.

I am not saying the Standard Model is true, I am saying it is the current best theory. There is no such thing as "true" in science. Nothing can be proven true. Things can only be proven false.

"Tuning" is simply the observation that the current best model has errors. At that point a search begins for improvements to the model. It does not negate the original model. We seem to be in agreement on this.

If you cannot accept BBT then what do you accept?
 

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