1
$\begingroup$

Where does the Higgs field get the energy which it transfers when some particles interact with it? And how do these interactions give mass to other bodies?

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Physics SE! What you are asking is IMHO very broad. You essentially want a full description of the Higgs mechanism, which can be found trivially with any elementary particles textbook. $\endgroup$ – G K Sep 12 '18 at 15:35
1
$\begingroup$

All the particles in the table of the standard model are represented by a field. The field mathematically is represented by the plane wave solution of the corresponding particle, Dirac for fermions, Klein Gordon for bosons, and covers all space time. The electron field covers all space time the same is true as well for all particle fields in the table, including the Higgs.

Fields do not interact in quantum field theory, fields are acted upon by creation and annihilation operators which manifest interactions between particles.

Energy exchanges happen between particles , not between fields.

The Higgs field acted upon by a creation operator will describe the higgs boson interaction or decay , not the Higgs field.

In general the energy is input coming with the four vectors of the particles , the fields do not have a fourvector describing them, just a quantum mechanical wavefunction.

The popularized image of an electron gaining mass because it is wading through the Higgs field is misleading. Electrons and the rest of particles in the table gained their mass at the symmetry breaking time in the model of the universe, and have this fixed mass ever since.

| cite | improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ This popularised image was once the winning submission to a contest among experts in Physics Today. I was surprised at the time, it read like some form of pre-Newtonian mechanics. $\endgroup$ – my2cts Sep 12 '18 at 20:11
  • $\begingroup$ Dear annav, you say "Fields do not interact in quantum field theory, fields are acted upon by creation and annihilation operators which manifest interactions between particles. Energy exchanges happen between particles , not between fields. " Now what happens with two magnets repelling each other? No real particles are exchanged, no real particle interaction. Do we use there the creation and annihilation operators for the virtual particles the same way as for real particles? So the energy exchange is between virtual particles? $\endgroup$ – Árpád Szendrei Sep 12 '18 at 23:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @ÁrpádSzendrei This macroscopic collective interaction is not possible to model with a single quantum field theory feynman diagram. Only if you go to dipole-dipole interactions between particles, and there the fields and operators are of the incoming and ougoing particles . $\endgroup$ – anna v Sep 13 '18 at 3:45

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.