5
votes
3answers
348 views

Nobel Prize 2013: What is it about? [closed]

I would really like to understand Higgs-Englert’s discovery that earned them the 2013 physics Nobel prize. I tried reading their work, but understood nothing of it unfortunately. The reason why I’m ...
6
votes
2answers
741 views

What is the role of the vacuum expectation value in symmetry breaking and the generation of mass?

Consider a theory of one complex scalar field with the following Lagrangian. $$ \mathcal{L}=\partial _\mu \phi ^*\partial ^\mu \phi +\mu ^2\phi ^*\phi -\frac{\lambda}{2}(\phi ^*\phi )^2. $$ The ...
4
votes
1answer
76 views

How can we have massive states of strings and CFT on the string worldsheet at the same time?

Ok, so we can have conformal invariance on a string world sheet. However, it is well known that to preserve conformal symmetry we require states to be massless. So how is it that string theories ...
2
votes
1answer
331 views

Why are all observable gauge theories not vector-like?

Why are all observable gauge theories not vector-like? Will this imply that the electron and/or fermions do not have mass? How is this issue resolved? Background: The Standard Model is a ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the symmetry which is responsible for conservation of mass?

According to Noether's theorem, all conservation laws originate from invariance of a system to shifts in a certain space. For example conservation of energy stems from invariance to time translation. ...