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I was reading the CernCourier, my favorite source of message on Higgs and friends. I was rather shocked, when I saw this:

"The mechanism by which neutrino mass is generated is not known."

What? Not known? Wiki says: In Higgs-based theories, the property of 'mass' is a manifestation of potential energy transferred to particles when they interact ("couple") with the Higgs field, which had contained that mass in the form of energy.

Does this mean that neutrinos don't couple to the Higgs field?

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Relevant: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrino_oscillation –  jinawee Feb 18 '14 at 21:43
@jinawee I see. Are neutrinos the only particles that generate their mass not via higgs fields? –  draks ... Feb 18 '14 at 22:02
Do are many questions related question (try to do some searches here). I haven't studied it yet, but the electron (and possibly all fermions except neutrinos) gets it mass from changing chirality (not directly from the Higgs field). See: quantumdiaries.org/2011/06/19/… –  jinawee Feb 18 '14 at 22:08

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

There is no agreement between physicists about neutrino mass generation mechanism.

For instance, there is no neutrino mass in Standard Model(SM), because of ambiguity of Higgs mechanism(electron and neutrino_e is SU(2) doublet, and after spontaneous symmetry breaking the first one receives the mass, $m_e$, and second one remains uncoupled.

Mechanism of neutrino mass generation is much discussed today in different theories, like minimal extention of SM, and in more complex and exotic theories.

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From an experimental point of view, there's the problem that the mass of the neutrino is compatible with 0 mass. Having those neutrino really no mass would mean they don't interact with the Higgs Field.

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The neutrinos are known to have non-zero masses (well, at least two flavors) because they oscillate. The zero mass that features in the standard model is simply incorrect. –  dmckee Feb 18 '14 at 23:33

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