Who gets their mass from the Higgs?

June 4, 2018, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
The CMS detector at CERN recently observed a rare type of Higgs boson decay. Credit: CERN

The Higgs field is like an endless ocean through which all matter swims. Some particles are like sponges and sop up mass as they lumber along, while others are as sprightly as tiny minnows and dart right through.

The Higgs theory is a beautifully simple explanation as to why some are massive while others are not. But not all predictions of the Higgs theory have been experimentally tested yet. That's why scientists on the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider are putting the Higgs boson under a microscope and trying to determine how it fits into the delicate ecosystem of particles.

"We know that the Higgs interacts with massive force-carrying particles, like the W boson, because that's how we originally discovered it," said scientist Patty McBride from the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, which supports the research of hundreds of U.S. scientists on the CMS experiment. "Now we're trying to understand its relationship with fermions."

Fermions are particles that click together to form the invisible scaffolding inside atoms. Bosons, on the other hand, are the physical manifestation of forces and perform tasks such as gluing fermions together.

In June 2014, scientists on the CMS experiment published a paper in Nature showing that the Higgs boson has a relationship with fermions by measuring the rate at which it decays into tau leptons, a heavier cousin of the electron. Later, both the CMS and ATLAS experiments found evidence of the Higgs boson decaying into bottom quarks. Now, scientists are tackling its relationship with the top .

"The relationship between the Higgs and the top quark is particularly interesting because the top quark is the most massive particle ever discovered," McBride said. "As the 'giver of mass,' the Higgs boson should be enormously fond of the top quark."

Because the top quark is much more massive than the Higgs boson, it's impossible for a Higgs boson to decay into a pair of top quarks. Luckily, there is another way to measure how strongly the Higgs boson couples to top quarks: looking for the rare case of simultaneous production of top quarks and a Higgs boson.

"Higgs boson production is rare – but Higgs production with top quarks is rarest of them all, amounting to only about 1 percent of the Higgs boson events produced at the LHC," said Chris Neu, a physicist at the University of Virginia who worked on this analysis.

In a paper published today in the journal Physical Review Letters, scientists on the CMS experiment report observing a statistically significant abundance of events in which the Higgs boson is produced in association with two top quarks. The CMS result for this rare Standard Model process with a significance of 5.2 sigma constitutes the first observation that exceeds the 5 sigma threshold physicists require. The ATLAS experiment has also submitted a paper on the same phenomenon for publication.

To get these results, the CMS experiment looked for Higgs bosons based on the numerous possible signatures it can leave behind in the detector.

"A top quark decays almost exclusively into a bottom quark and a W boson," Neu said. "The Higgs boson, on the other hand, has a rich spectrum of decay modes, including decays to pairs of bottom quarks, W bosons, tau leptons, photons and several others. This leads to a wide variety of signatures in events with two top quarks and a Higgs boson. We pursued each of these and combined the results to produce our final analysis."

Exploring the Higgs 's relationship with the top quark further could also be a possible window to new physics, according to Fermilab Deputy Director Joe Lykken.

"Pinning down this coupling will tell us a lot about the behavior of the Higgs and how it might also interact with other particles we haven't discovered, like dark matter," Lykken said. "Deeply understanding how the Higgs interacts with known particles could help lead us to physics beyond the Standard Model."

Explore further: ATLAS experiment takes its first glimpse of the Higgs boson in its favourite decay

More information: A. M. Sirunyan et al. Observation of tt¯H Production, Physical Review Letters (2018). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.231801

Observation of Higgs boson production in association with a top quark pair at the LHC with the ATLAS detector: arxiv.org/abs/1806.00425

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etherair
2 / 5 (6) Jun 04, 2018
Using their own swimming analogy, the water can decay into guppies? The 'mass giver' is made of the particles it gives mass to?
I confuse easily at times.
ZoeBell
Jun 04, 2018
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baudrunner
1 / 5 (2) Jun 04, 2018
Quantum mechanics being the study of sweet spots and all, there is probably a system of "lowest common denominator" for a given starting point like any intermediate vector boson, allowing for the prediction of the yielded particles, I mean, that's the theory behind how the Higgs was predicted.

..trying to determine how it fits into the delicate ecosystem of particles
Isn't that a bit like trying to determine how the transitional phases between yellow and orange and red in a rainbow fits into the delicate ecosystem of waves?
GoodWillWin
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 04, 2018
So with the swimming mode, mass (or quotient of interaction with the gravitational plane) would be synonymous to the force required to push through the water. If quarks are like tiny whirlpools draining the "water" of the field, then any objects which interact with the water will be pulled in with it. This would be the gravitational attraction - mass or weight. Now to illustrate the quotient of interaction, with the swimming model this would be similar to the surface resistance of the object. Picture pushing a pizza pan through the water edge-first. This is easy. But turn it face-first and it becomes very hard. The object itself did not change but only it's orientation relative to the force being applied. So mass can be a function of orientation with the gravitational field. Hm?
GoodWillWin
3 / 5 (6) Jun 04, 2018
Hold on... "the top quark is much more massive than the Higgs boson" ... isn't the Higgs boson supposed to imbue mass? Perhaps the top quark is bigger, but I wouldn't say massive. Or perhaps a top quark is filled with/swarmed by bosons - so yes there's a bunch of mass at that party.

I still like visualizing this with water. That makes a quark a faucet or drain (depending on up/down/top/bottom) and the boson is a bucket or water balloon. I wonder if this makes an anti-boson possibly a floaty toy - so there you got it: anti-gravity.
SkyLight
1.5 / 5 (8) Jun 05, 2018
Parties, pizzas, water-balloons, floaty toys! I gotta hand it to you, you seem to have completely got a handle on this particle stuff. Either that, or you're completely wet behind the ears, and have zero understanding of physics.

Now, which could it be? Hm?
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (8) Jun 05, 2018
Who gets their mass from the Higgs?

Higgs' wallet, and the overpaid contractors building his pseudoscientific machinations.
Parsec
5 / 5 (1) Jun 05, 2018
GoodWillWin - i nominate you for the best nerd joke of the year. That one works on so many levels.
Parsec
3.5 / 5 (2) Jun 05, 2018
@SkyLight - the metaphors are quite appropriate in my opinion. The water and pizza analogies are imperfect of course, but they certainly do manage to convey the concepts involved quite nicely.

It is one thing to understand a thing. It requires a very deep understanding to create analogies that explain concepts to others. So my guess actually is that GoodWillWin has a very deep and firm understanding of the physics involved to come up with the pizza and water analogy to begin with. And the floaty toys was obviously and clearly a light hearted joke.
Kron
5 / 5 (4) Jun 05, 2018
[qHold on... "the top quark is much more massive than the Higgs boson" ... isn't the Higgs boson supposed to imbue mass?
The Higgs boson is an excitation of the Higgs field. The Higgs boson isn't responsible for particle mass, the Higgs field is.
antialias_physorg
3.5 / 5 (8) Jun 05, 2018
, then any objects which interact with the water will be pulled in with it. This would be the gravitational attraction

That doesn't really work because gravity is a long range force and also a bunch of other stuff that is best summed up in the paragraph with the red/stricken text on this site
https://profmatts...related/
In short: Gravity and the Higgs field are unrelated.

So mass can be a function of orientation with the gravitational field. Hm?

No, because gravity doesn't work that way (see the mentioned link)

"the top quark is much more massive than the Higgs boson"

The Higgs boson is an excitation of the Higgs field. The Higgs *boson* doesn't give mass to stuff. The Higgs *field* does.The fact that we managed to excite the Higgs field to create a Higgs boson (which was then measured) was proof that the Higgs *field* exists.
GoodWillWin
2 / 5 (1) Jun 05, 2018
I am greatly pleased, and humbled, that my comments have inspired discussion. This is exactly what we need to do when seeking insight and understanding of a system which has limited knowledge. I certainly will not claim ultimate knowledge on this topic (or any) so will strive on the side of wisdom - is this not what science does? Use limited tools to collect observations, facts and apply them to a model, either to prove it or destroy it.

I find that the macro-world offers many models for the systems of the micro.

So I get that a boson is an excitement of the field. Here comes the analogies... Now I've got balloons at my backyard barbecue/pool party. Compressed units of the "air field" with measurable pressure. Also the corn is boiling, so adding energy (heat/excitement) to the field (pot-o-aqua) causes it to jump states to gas and form bubbles. Mmm, me like my corn with bosons.
GoodWillWin
2 / 5 (1) Jun 05, 2018
I suppose where I'm going with my thoughts, is if you have a field - Higgs, water, air, etc - would we not see the same manifestations and artifacts in the system?
1) Compression/density
2) Temperature/excitement
3) Bubbles/localized state-shift
4) Flow
5) Whirlpools or tornadoes - perhaps just a twist or eddy of Flow.
6) Waves

The way in which we observe these phenomena may indicate a particle (something in the field)
or a pseudoparticle (a deflection of the field itself). Where my head starts to bend is thinking of multiple fields overlapping and true particles having varying degrees of interaction in each, or it could be that a deflection within one field will induce interaction in another. Just maybe, there really is no spoon.
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (6) Jun 05, 2018
I find that the macro-world offers many models for the systems of the micro.

Well, this always has to be taken with a grain of salt. Making models by analogy is an easy first step. But we have to be aware that our experiences (through our senses) are of the macro world - and that the micro-world is certainly not limited to conform to these analogies.

Case in point: superposition, entanglement, squared wave functions, wave/particle duality, delayed choice, vacuum energy, uncertainty/complementary variables...these (and many more) are things that just don't have any analogous counterparts in the macro world. Our intuition did not evolve in an environment exposed to such phenomena. As such they feel 'counter-intuitive' - even though we can show by experiment that they absolutely exist.

Trying for an analogy from everyday experience may be OK as a start - but you risk blinding yourself to what's actually there by the implicit limits of the analogy.
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (6) Jun 05, 2018
would we not see the same manifestations and artifacts in the system?
1) Compression/density
...

I think you're going down a road that leads you away from what is really there. Stretching analogies beyond their breaking point is not going to help you understand. Randomly assigning properties that the analogous entity has to something you're trying to grasp isn't going to get you anywhere.

The only way to go about it (that will get you anywhere) is through the math. Look where the math leads you. The "shut up and calculate" paradigm has been adopted for a reason (not out of hubris!) :
At the micro-level we're dealing with stuff that is so far outside our usual experience that any analogy very quickly breaks down (i.e it quickly becomes counter-productive to stick to it)

It may not particularly satisfying to let macroscopic analogies go at some point - but anything else will just block your understanding of the subject.
GoodWillWin
2.5 / 5 (2) Jun 05, 2018
@antialias_physorg. I stand in awe and applaud those who can do the math. Truly, math is the best way to define and prove a truth. However, I also raise caution against having too narrow a focus that you limit your model or forget the assumptions that were made going into the formula, or blindly accepting the observation of our scientific apparatus (our micro-world senses) as 100% accurate and/or 100% complete.

The formula may say 1+1=2 and is correct, but by expanding the model and looking deeper we see that (4-3)+(0.5*2)=2 and it is still correct. I believe the squishy blob between our ears is still the best scientific tool, and we must use it to both dive deep into the math and better observation to expand the depth of our understanding, and to look at the wider picture through changed perspective to expand the breadth.

My hope is that even silly visualizations may give a fresh perspective.
milnik
1 / 5 (3) Jun 06, 2018
Why are particle collisions really good? From previous findings, for reasonable people, these colliders are a new toy for adults. It can be compared with a soap bubble maker. A glass of water with soap and blubber to accelerate the mix, it's a collision system. Feeding through the straw is the movement of protons through the tube. A blubber under soap operas, the particles that are released, disappear immediately. The child is unaware of what is happening and how the bubbles form. Similarly, scientists do not know how the particles are formed. They think that particles originate from particles in a collision.
So their boson is larger and 600 times the protons. How ? They can not understand this because they announce: what is matter and what forms it is and how it forms.
milnik
1 / 5 (3) Jun 06, 2018
So they do not even know about the emergence of gravity and magnetism. But, what is surprising, they think their tubes are empty (inside there is no air-vacuum). But the whole universe is filled with the substance Aether, from which matter is formed. Aether can be "irritated by the increased vibration, magnetic field, and velocity of the particle's movement through the Aether in the tubes, all these particles are" deadborne abortions "obtained from Aether in the above conditions. Here's the advice for these scientists:
You need to judge two eggs and get 600 pieces, like a boson larger than a protons.
antialias_physorg
3.3 / 5 (7) Jun 06, 2018
I also raise caution against having too narrow a focus that you limit your model or forget the assumptions that were made going into the formula, or blindly accepting the observation of our scientific apparatus

I trust the data. If we cannot trust our experiments and the data then it makes no sense going any further - because then we're left with wild speculation...and that has helped no one, ever.
If some future experiment finds out that a past experiment was biased then that is data that supplants old data. That's just how scientific progress works. That's why you keep putting theories to the test as soon as new ways of testing it become available.

Math is a way to take away the biases inherent in our 'squishy blob'. Our brains are not magic/universal tools. They evolved based on past environments. When dealing with stuff our brain isn't evolved to handle we can be fairly certain that any analogy we build off on will carry an inherent bias.
ZoeBell
Jun 06, 2018
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ZoeBell
Jun 06, 2018
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ZoeBell
Jun 06, 2018
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theredpill
3.4 / 5 (7) Jun 06, 2018
"When Richard P. Feynman has said "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment (data), it's wrong.", he undoubtedly had raw data on mind, because any interpretation of these data already belongs into theory."

Excellent comment, a lot of people don't understand that they support others interpretations of raw data as opposed to the data itself.
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
3.9 / 5 (7) Jun 06, 2018
To quote the arxiv abstract, the result is, not unexpectedly, "in agreement with the Standard Model prediction." But we need to pull at every rivet in our theories, good work!

@GWW: "math is the best way to define and prove a truth. However, I also raise caution against having too narrow a focus that you limit your model".

No, it is the best tool to describe and test facts. It is part of - here physics - theories, but it is the context of the latter that defines the use. For instance, I hear that when theorists quantize field theories they have to go back and check their physicality (that they still obey relativity). That is part of why science and algorithms is larger than math and axiomatics.

Analogies is an even more fallible tool than pure math.
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
3.9 / 5 (7) Jun 06, 2018
Oy vey, opinions without or against fact:

@milnik: - Accelerators (and cosmic radiation) are "really good" because we have nothing else. If you invent a better method, you are welcome to publish.

- We do know about the emergence of gravity and electromagnetism from quantum field theory. Accelerators have helped flesh that out, and it works - as the article above show! Go look the science up in Wikipedia, say.

@ZB: - Irrelevant antiscience examples, even politicization in the last part. Cosmological models as well as climate science works objectively since the global science community agree on the areas.

- Feynman was an excellent theorist, showing that theory is possible. No science can extract raw data without doing hypothesis testing such as underlie observation. Did you even *try* to have an actual point in that mess you made?
ZoeBell
Jun 06, 2018
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ZoeBell
Jun 06, 2018
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theredpill
3.1 / 5 (8) Jun 06, 2018
"Your immediate downvote indicates, they do realize it and they're doing it intentionally"

Agreed, one of the people has been down voting me since I first commented here and the other guy responded to your post, but more often than not a comments value isn't reflected in the number of high or low votes.

"The people just WANT to do a religion/groupthink because they want to affect others with it, because it brings them some power "

Precisely! The rating system here is a perfect example of this. Ordinarily I would have written this site off and moved on because of this type of behaviour but the dynamic here is entertaining when two people who have their own religious style belief in a theory debate each other. For the record, the 2 examples in your 3rd post are excellent ones where people confuse data and interpretation of it, regardless of others opinions here.
ZoeBell
Jun 06, 2018
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Hyperfuzzy
not rated yet Jun 11, 2018
Mrs. Higgs?
granville583762
5 / 5 (3) Jun 11, 2018
The Michelson–Morley experiment versus The Higgs field

The Aether and the Higgs field
The Aether - The Earth travels very quickly (more than 100,000 km per hour) around the Sun. If Aether exists, the Earth moving through it would cause a "wind" in the same way that there seems to be a wind outside a moving car. To a person in the car, the air outside the car would seem like a moving substance. In the same way, Aether should seem like a moving substance to things on Earth.

The Higgs field - An endless ocean through which all matter swims. Some particles are like sponges and sop up mass as they lumber along, while others are as sprightly as tiny minnows and dart right through
A derivation of ether in all its glory!

Whether or not Aether or Higgs field exist is academic, what is relevant is why do these two independent separate descriptions 130 years apart appear to be describing the same entity!
milnik
not rated yet Jun 11, 2018
Aether is not matter, it does not possess density, viscosity, it is not a movement, because it is a substance that passes through the tiniest subatomic particles, without resistance and friction, but it acts on matter by the appearance of gravity and magnetism with its "family relation" with matter. Higgs boson and Higzovo field do not exist as something that is existing. It arises from Aether and particles in collisions and after a collision, it returns to the form of Aether, as happens with matter in black holes. Aether can not influence its existence in any other way, but only with a backward "family relation with matter." It also works on all forms of matter, even on the Earth.
granville583762
5 / 5 (3) Jun 11, 2018
The point of issue
milnik> Aether is not matter, it does not possess density, viscosity, it is not a movement, because it is.....

milnic I think if you read through again, niether Aether or Higgs field was the contentious issue!
Hyperfuzzy
not rated yet Jun 14, 2018
This is nuts, nonsense trying to explain the use of nonsense!

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