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Electroweak symmetry breaking is manifested by the nonzero masses of the weak W and Z bosons, and requires the existence of a Higgs boson or some other yet unseen mechanism. To solve the problem of flavor.

  • why there are six quarks and six leptons forming three families?

  • why these particles exhibit such a peculiar pattern of masses and mixing?

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Related: – Qmechanic Sep 14 '12 at 16:31
The Higgs is seen now, and why is it peculiar? Are you asking why 3 generations? Or why the structure of the reps and the charges. If it's the latter, you should look up SU(5) or SO(10) GUT. For the masses and mixing, they aren't too unnatural, except the electron mass and the off-diagonal CKM elements, and these can be made natural in string theory. – Ron Maimon Sep 14 '12 at 19:34

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