I am told there are four fundamental forces, and each of these forces has a boson that acts as its carrier.

Reading this http://www.fnal.gov/pub/science/inquiring/questions/higgs_boson.html I find that the Higgs Field is not a force field

The Higgs field is not considered a force. It cannot accelerate particles, it doesn't transfer energy. However, it interacts universally with all particles (except the massless ones), providing their masses.

So I can get this argument, but then the article goes on to claim

The Higgs particle is considered to be a carrier of a force. It is a boson, like the other force-transferring particles: photons, gluons, electroweak bosons. One may call the force mediated by the Higgs boson to be universal as the Higgs boson interacts with all kinds of massive particles, no matter whether they are quarks, leptons, or even massive bosons (the electroweak bosons). Only photons and gluons do not interact with the Higgs boson. Neutrinos, the lightest particles with almost zero mass, barely interact with a Higgs boson. Top quarks, which have about the mass of a Gold atom, have the strongest interaction with a Higgs boson.

So ...

  1. Is the Higgs Field a Force Field?
  2. Is the Higgs Boson a carrier of force?
  3. Does this mean there are actually 5 fundamental forces?
  4. Why is that elephant over there orange?

The difference between the Higgs boson and the bosons of the three/four fundamental (depending whether you include gravity as a quantized theory or not) actions is that the latter are associated with gauge symmetries, while the Higgs plays a role in spontaneous symmetry breaking. Photons, W- and Z-bosons, gluons and gravitons arise from the requirement that the theory should be gauge invariant, while the Higgs field/boson does not.

In this sense, the Higgs field and the associated particle are not considered to form another fundamental force.


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