The Higgs boson is a hypothetical elementary particle predicted by the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics. It belongs to a class of particles known as bosons

What Will Happens If physicist Find the Higgs Particle that thought to be fundamental is not fundamental?

  • $\begingroup$ This isn't an answer to your question but a clarification of the language you used - 'Fundamental' is a term that is relative to the energy scale, and equivalently the length scale you are probing. If you have a higher energy collider you can see smaller-scale structure of your particles. (Higher energy -> shorter wavelength -> smaller length scale). In this sense, things like pions, protons and neutrons are structureless point-particles (what I take you mean by 'fundamental') as long as you are operating at low enough energies that you can't probe their internal structure. $\endgroup$ – DJBunk Jun 7 '12 at 16:43

If you've watched any of the popular science programmes on the Higgs boson you've almost certainly got the wrong idea about it. In particular, the title to your question suggests you've heard the description "God particle" once too often since the Higgs isn't the root of all elementary particles.

Physicists believe that particles acquire mass through a process called electroweak symmetry breaking. I'm not sure that this has been proven, but the theory fits observations so well that everybody believes it. Anyhow, the Higgs mechanism is one of many mechanisms by which the symmetry breaking could occur. Actually it's the simplest and most elegant mechanism, and all the other suggestions have various problems associated with them, so most people's money is on the Higgs, especially now there's a hint of it at the LHC.

But there are various other possible mechanisms including a composite Higgs theory known as the little Higgs, and it's possible that experiment could prove the little Higgs theory to be correct. Alternatively another symmetry breaking mechanism like Technicolor, that doesn't have a Higgs boson at all, could turn out to be correct.

So while it currently seems most likely that the simple Higgs boson model is correct, the Higgs might not be a fundamental particle or might not exist at all. At the end of the day electroweak symmetry gets broken and particles acquire masses, so all the alternatives to the Higgs have to do basically the same thing. Failing to find a simple Higgs boson wouldn't be the end of Physics.

  • $\begingroup$ The popular media tend to claim that the Higgs boson is the source of all mass. If I understand this correctly, it's the Higgs mechanism that's (theoretically) the source of all mass, and the Higgs boson is another consequence of the Higgs mechanism. Is that about right? $\endgroup$ – Keith Thompson Jun 7 '12 at 17:57
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    $\begingroup$ @KeithThompson: Yes, the mechanism is the source of the mass, the boson is a shaking of the condensate in a different direction than the one that gives the mass. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon Jun 7 '12 at 19:24
  • $\begingroup$ The Higgs boson is, roughly, the source of all mass in the Standard model. Its very possible there are undiscovered particles that are massive by some other mechanism, included other Higgs-like particles. $\endgroup$ – DJBunk Jun 7 '12 at 20:36

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