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Subject to SM being found inadequate,iIt's well known that some particles gain mass from the Higgs field/mechanism (EW bosons being classic examples) while others gain mass from gluon energy and QED (baryons being a good example).

Assuming that "mass is mass", on the surface both relate to mechanisms that produce helicity changes which we measure and observe as "mass". But is there an experiment that is accessible, which in theory could show some observational difference related to which mechanism the mass of a particle was obtained from, or in which the mechanism is clear because the particles act differently under the same circumstances?

Put another way, are there in any subtle ways, two or more types of almost-identical mass (in the sense of mass-from-gluon-energy-and-QED vs mass-from-Higgs-mechanism, not in the sense of inertial/relativistic/rest mass as is normally meant), or does theory imply that both will be *observationally identical and indistinguishable as regards which source/mechanism they are due to, in the same circumstances?

Put a third way, if a physicist had a source of some known (or unknown) massive particle, could a purely experimental observation reveal a difference in interaction or properties due to the type/source of mass, or a clear difference between one and the other type of mass, or would one have to fall back on theory to assess the type of particle, and hence whether it interacted under QED or EW/Higgs, to get an answer?

(Assume present or reasonable future accessible techniques - this probably rules out techniques like raising energy levels to beyond EW symmetry and saying 'look, this one's become massless!' Also I'm more interested if at any level there are two different types of mass, or two distinct but similar properties, or if the two kinds/sources of the property that we call 'mass' truly do always behave the same way)

If there is some clear difference, what would it be?

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  • $\begingroup$ In both cases the electron mass is an experimental and therefore unique number. Any theory is an approximation, so no wonder that there may be many theories with adjustable parameters describing the same thing. $\endgroup$ – Vladimir Kalitvianski May 30 '18 at 14:28
  • $\begingroup$ Mass is localized energy. A particle mass is a sum of energies of its interactions. To know the sources contributing to the particle mass/energy you need to measure its interactions with different types of fields. Because the Higgs mechanism has not been experimentally observed yet, the answer to your question is currently no. $\endgroup$ – safesphere May 30 '18 at 15:03

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