I know that the Higgs mechanism has some analogous models to theories that describe the behaviour of quasiparticles in condensed matter, like in superconductivity and other spontaneous symmetry breaking byproducts.

I tried to ask a few experimental researchers in the field if the equivalent of the "Higgs boson" (not Higgs mechanism) in those systems has ever been detected. But I have received mixed responses, some saying yes, some discarding the idea.

So I ask here, has there ever been a detection of a condensed matter equivalent Higgs quasiparticle boson or collective excitations of their equivalent "Higgs field"? If no, why? If yes, how close is the analogy to the [vacuum] Higgs boson?


1 Answer 1


In superconductors there's an equivalent of the Higgs boson called the Higgs mode. There's a rather recent review article that discusses the experimental situation in some detail, Ryo Shimano, and Naoto Tsuji, "Higgs Mode in Superconductors," Annual Reviews in Condensed Matter Physics 11, pp. 103-124 (2020) (alternate arXiv link). My reading is that there have been longstanding experimental difficulties, and some conceptual ones distinguishing the Higgs mode from charge density wave states, but that both have been resolved recently, and that the Higgs mode has been seen clearly in materials like NbN. However, I'm in no way an expert in this field, so the experimentalists you've been talking to may have some well-founded doubts or criticisms.

There have also been reported observations of Higgs modes in cold atoms and magnetic systems:

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks that's what I was looking for. I am going to leave the question open for a few days if anybody wants to add findings of another Higgs mode in a different context (super fluidity maybe?) $\endgroup$
    – Mauricio
    Sep 10, 2020 at 8:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Mauricio I remembered seeing reports of the Higgs mode in quantum magnets, so I added a couple of references to those, as well as a reference to a cold atom experiment. But I can't claim to have a deep knowledge of those efforts either, so there's a lot of room for someone else to chime in. $\endgroup$
    – Anyon
    Sep 10, 2020 at 15:38

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