What is the difference between Higgs Mechanism and Higgs decay?

I know that Higgs mechanism is a process which provide the mass to gauge boson.
In general, many literature explain Higgs mechanism via SSB (Spontaneous symmetry breaking), even though, we can explain Higgs Mechanism without SSB. [see Higgs, for reference].

In many case, I heard lots of Higgs Mechanism and Higgs decay frequently, indiscriminately.

In this question I want to know the exact terminology of above things and difference between them.


1 Answer 1


The Higgs mechanism is a theoretical formulation answering how a gauge boson may acquire a mass.

The Higgs mechanism predicts the existence of a particle, called the Higgs boson.

Particles may decay, for example the neutron decays into a proton, electron and a neutrino. Similarly the Higgs boson can decay. Its decay into two photons was the discovery method at the LHC. A Higgs decay is the decay of a Higgs boson. The Higgs boson has numerous other decay channels.

  • $\begingroup$ just a precision: the Higgs discovery was made in both Higgs decaying into 2 photons and Higgs decaying into $ZZ^*\to 4$ leptons (the 2 channels were needed to claim a discovery + a small contribution from $H\to WW$) $\endgroup$
    – Paganini
    Mar 9, 2015 at 21:38

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