Since we don't know what is the origin and physical interpretation of the Higgs potential or the Mexican Hat. Is it subject to interpretation like we do in the quantum wave function? Is the temperature bouncing the higgs at the middle also just for sake of illustration.. meaning there is possibility the Higgs potential are controlled not even by temperature but another field hidden for example remnants of the inflaton field or dark energy that triggers the phase transition to produce non-zero vev and consequent electroweak symmetry breaking? Any papers in arxiv for this stuff?

  • $\begingroup$ It's nowhere written there that temperature is proven or not to influence the Higgs potential.. I was asking if other fields like inflaton or dark energy is what triggered the phase transition for higgs field to have nonzero 246GeV and not temperature. Is there 100% solid proof it's temperature that did it? $\endgroup$ – Jtl Mar 28 '18 at 1:02

In the time history of the universe, where temperature can be used as a parameter too,


we are and do our experiments and theories at "present time on the right.

All elementary particle fields are posited to cover the whole space and time , and they each have a vacuum expectation value of zero, throughout, except the Higgs field. The vacuum expectation value of the Higgs field is zero before the Weak(on the plot) symmetry breaking point (at ~100GeV) and after symmetry breaking its vacuum expectation value becomes 246GeV,( a parameter that fits the data,).The particles in the table acquire mass, but they still have vacuum expectation value zero , i.e energy is needed to get real particles, they cannot appear from the vacuum. This model fits the experimental data very well, and the recent discovery of the Higgs boson validates it.

There have been other mechanisms proposed for the Higgs mechanism. Possibly in new colliders built specifically to study Higgs production a different version will fit new data better. For now the current model is validated, and new proposals have to wait for more accurate data and maybe more Higgs bosons discovered.

In physics there is no "solid proof", except continuous validation of predictions.

  • $\begingroup$ What temperature dynamics caused the Higgs field vev to be zero before the phase transition (electroweak symmetry breaking)? Is it because the high temperature plasma kicked it to the center of the Mexican Hat. But the Mexican Hat is just for sake of illustration. What actually happens physically whereby the temperature plasma can make the higgs vev zero above 100GeV (or before the higgs phase transition)? $\endgroup$ – Jtl Mar 28 '18 at 5:09
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    $\begingroup$ Temperature is a classical, thermodynamic concept. In the plot above it is connected to the average kinetic energy that can be transfered in collisions. The transition is posited to happen at ~100 GeV, because of the masses of the Z and W. So when the average temperatyre is 100 GeV there is, according to the standard model, enough energy for scattering outputs to be produced with masses. It is just a model, scale that works as it fits the data. $\endgroup$ – anna v Mar 28 '18 at 11:27
  • $\begingroup$ But how does temperature cause the Higgs vev to become zero above the transition temperature 100GeV (before electroweak symmetry breaking).. what is the nature of the interaction between temperature and the Higgs to cause zero vev above 100GeV? $\endgroup$ – Jtl Mar 28 '18 at 11:47
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    $\begingroup$ I repeat, it is not temperature per se. It is the kinetic energy of the individual particles which falls below this ~100 GeV . The temperature is proportional to the average kinetic energy of the zillion of particles at that time. hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Kinetic/kintem.html $\endgroup$ – anna v Mar 28 '18 at 17:24
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    $\begingroup$ If you want more than the explanations with words found all over, of spontaneous symmetry breaking, you have to start with a course in field theory and find the calculations implied in this presentation fe.infn.it/~bettoni/particelle/Strong/HiggsMechanism.pdf . The 100 GeV is dictated from experimental values, the measured masses of Z andW entered in the calculations. $\endgroup$ – anna v Mar 29 '18 at 4:42

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