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← Higgs boson hunters scent their elusive quarry at the LHC

Alex, adv. diab.'s Avatar Jump to comment 18 by Alex, adv. diab.

Comment 16 by Red Dog :

Comment 15 by Alex, adv. diab. :

Comment 5 by Steve Zara :

I completely agree with TuftedPuffin's explanation, but I would like to develop the same story from a different perspective...

I'm not completely happy with this analogy because the Higgs boson would also mediate a force, which would be the true analogy to gravity. It's really hard to find consistent metaphors.

Another good explanation. Just to make sure I understood the last part: you mean the Higgs boson would mediate a force the way the gluon mediates gravity, the photon mediates the EM force and other particles (forget what right now) mediate the strong and weak forces?

Yes. It will be an attractive force with a range that is roughly proportional to the inverse higgs boson mass.

Is this a new force beside the standard four? Is there a name for it?

It is indeed a new force beyond the standard four, and no, I don't think there is a name for it yet! It is notoriously difficult to measure because it only acts extremely weakly on stable particles that we usually see, because their interaction with the higgs field, which is proportional to their mass, is very small.

On a somewhat different topic, when I look at blogs on alternative energy I often see people posting what looks like nonsense to me about "zero point" technologies that utilize the "vacume energy". I assume that what they are talking about is somehow managing to access the energy of the Higgs field(?) and that such claims at this point are pseudo-science?

They are talking about magic. Sometimes, they talk about the mysterious lost notebooks of Tesla or such things. There is no known way to harvest the zero point energy of the vacuum, probably because it would need a violation of the second law of thermodynamics. The only way I could imagine how one would maybe be able to circumvent that is if you have a black hole. So, no, that stuff is not even close to making sense.

Mon, 12 Dec 2011 09:58:35 UTC | #898170