What would happen if the Higgs field were zero

The Higgs field is a topic so important that it even deserved a whole experimental complex for itself, the Large Hadron Collider, designed to study it. This mysterious field is on average non-zero, it covers the entire Universe, as if an invisible fluid, and affects the masses of known elementary particles. And what if it was on average zero? What would our world be?

He would be fatal to us — there would be no atoms in him — but in a certain sense he would be much simpler and better organized. Let's see exactly how.

Fig. 2

Take rice. 2 of the article on known particles (it should be read before this article). It depicts the well-known elementary particles of nature and Higgs from the Standard Model. Lines denote which particles affect each other. You can see three of the four known interactions of nature (gravity is excluded for clarity): strong interaction (with gluons as carriers), electromagnetism (carrier - photon), weak interaction (carriers - W and Z). You can see that neutrinos, charged leptons and quarks do not interact with each other directly, they are influenced only by interaction carriers. And finally, the Higgs field, non-zero in our Universe, denoted by the green field, affects all known massive elementary particles, and, in fact, is responsible for their mass.

Fig. 3

Compare this to pic. 3, which depicts the world of particles, which would exist if the Higgs field were zero. Look carefully, and you will see many differences!

• Instead of electromagnetic and weak interactions existing in our world, with a non-zero Higgs field, in a world with zero field, these forces would be redistributed and distorted. Converted forces are called hypercharge and isospin (for historical reasons; no semantic load of the name is carried).
• In the process of this permutation, the carrier particles of interactions also change. Three particles W and one X appeared, and Z 0 and the photon disappeared. And more particles W and X are now massless.
• Interaction carriers have become easier and in a different sense. The photon affects the particles W + and W - directly; this is seen in fig. 2, where they are connected by a purple line. But particles X do not affect the straight line on particles W. Gluons affect themselves as before (the red curved line; W also affect themselves; X does not affect any interaction vector.
• For each particle of matter (except neutrinos), there are now two particles with the same name. But they differ - as much as Arnold Palmer and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Physicists came up with several naming systems for them, but the top quark with any name would have the same “flavor”, so I identified the difference between them by turning the letters to the right or left. We can call them left-top and right-top.
• All left particles go in pairs, one pair for each generation, and are influenced by isospin interaction. The electron corresponds to the neutrino-e (electron neutrino), to the upper quark - the lower quark, etc.
• The particles on the right are alone, one for each generation, and isospin does not affect them.
• Neutrino left only the left.
• In pic. 2 I marked neutrino-1, neutrino-2 and neutrino-3, but in fig. 3 I use the names “electron neutrino”, “muon neutrino” and “tau neutrino”. This subtlety can be ignored if you are not deeply interested in the topic. Otherwise, you can read an article about the types of neutrinos and their oscillations.
• All particles depicted will be massless - except for the Higgs particles, which will be as many as four! (And this is the minimum - in the Standard Model, where the simplest version of the Higgs fields is used, there are four of them, but in principle everything can be more complicated).

How does the non-zero Higgs field affect this simpler and better-organized (but unfit for life) world, and turn it into our own complex? The thing is how the Higgs field interacts with the carriers of the interactions of isospin and hypercharge, and with particles of matter. How it works, for example, with the top quark, is shown in fig. 4 and 5. The left upper quark and the right upper quark interact with each other through strong interaction and Higgs particles - but not with other particles of matter. In particular, if the upper left quark encounters a Higgs particle, it will most likely turn into the upper right one. As soon as the Higgs field becomes nonzero, such an interaction will lead to the fact that two versions of the massless upper quarks turn into one massive upper one, with a large mass.

Fig. four

The connection of the top left with the top right should not be confused with the union of two particles into a composite object, such as a proton and an electron, linked together by an electromagnetic force and forming a hydrogen atom. This is another type of combination in which two elementary particles are mixed into one elementary particle.

Fig. five

How it works? In fig. 5 shows this diagram. When the Higgs field is zero, the upper left particle will move at the speed of light, just like the upper right one. But when the field is not zero, its presence and the fact that it interacts with the upper left and upper right particles will cause the upper left particle to turn into the upper right one, and vice versa. How often will this happen? Approximately 100 trillion trillion (100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) times per second. This process of transformation makes it impossible to consider the left upper and right upper particles as separate entities, since they are inextricably linked; if you have one, then another will appear soon. You will not have both at the same time, why the upper quark remains elementary, not a composite particle. Together you can call this mixture of two particles the top quark. And the non-zero Higgs field, whose presence makes it jump between the upper left and right upper states, also provides this structure with internal energy, which is present even at rest. This energy is indistinguishable from the energy of the mass (E = mc 2 ); in experiments, it behaves the same way. In other words, what we call the energy of the mass of the upper quark is in fact the energy it receives when it is inside a non-zero Higgs field. Remove the Higgs field, make it zero, and the top quark will return to the state of two separate massless particles, the upper left and upper right.

The same phenomenon gives the electron a mass, but the interaction of the left and right electrons with the Higgs field is very weak, therefore, in the presence of a non-zero Higgs field, the electron has a mass, but relatively small. The switching frequency between the left and right electron is 0.000003 from the switching frequency between the left upper and right upper quark, so (let's use a little math) we get that the electron mass is 0.000003 from the mass of the upper quark.

Fig. 6

All other quarks and charged leptons receive their masses in a similar way. The stronger the interaction of the left and right objects with the Higgs, the greater the resulting mass of the mixed object with a non-zero Higgs field.

What about interaction vectors? Higgs does not affect gluons, but mixes isospin and hypercharge, creating a photon from a mixture of W 3 and X, Z 0 from another mixture of W 3 and X, and a Higgs particle called A 0 , as well as W + and W from mixtures of W 1 , W 2 , H + and H - . This process, called the Higgs mechanism, makes W + , W - and Z 0 massive, leaving the photon massless.

Yeah, that's why the world with a non-zero Higgs field remains with a single Higgs particle (h), while a world with a zero field has 4 particles - H + , H - , A 0 and H 0 . Just as the upper left and upper right quark mix, forming a massive upper, three additional Higgs particles mix with three mixtures of massless particles W and X, forming massive Z 0 , W + and W - !

Fig. 7

The interaction, the carrier of which has a mass, at long distances is ineffective, so nuclear forces seem to us so weak. If the Higgs field were zero, the isospin and the hypercharge would be equally strong. Instead, in our world there is a strong electromagnetic interaction with a massless photon as a carrier, and a weak nuclear interaction, so weak that it has almost no effect on our daily life - although, however, it is necessary for the operation of star fires, including the solar one!

The reason why the world looks so complicated, according to which all these particles with very different masses exist, is partly explained by the fact that the Higgs field and the Higgs particle interact with different particles of matter with very different forces. So the problem of various masses of particles is in fact a problem of different interaction forces with the Higgs field / particle. Why are these interactions so different? There is no consensus on the answer to this question (experts in particle physics call it the “aroma problem” - speaking of the flavors of quarks, and of electrons, muons and tau - charged leptons with different flavors). We hope that some of the answers will be given to us by the BAC - but there are no guarantees for this.

The question still remains - how do neutrinos get their mass? The answer is we do not know for sure. One of the possibilities — the existence of right-handed neutrinos in nature — is very difficult to find experimentally, since none of the three interactions shown in Fig. 1 affect it. 2 and 3 - and the mechanism for acquiring neutrinos of mass is the same as that of other particles. The second possibility is that left-handed neutrinos receive mass from indirect interaction with the Higgs particle, which does not work with other particles. Many of my colleagues are inclined to the second variant, since he would naturally explain why neutrinos are so much lighter than quarks and charged leptons. But it is a long story.

Finish on the important point. Many people, having first become acquainted with the history of the Higgs field, suggest that it must be somehow related to gravity, which also interacts with heavier particles better than with less heavy ones. Gravity pulls the upper quarks stronger than electrons, as do the Higgs forces. But experienced physicists reject such an idea. Why?

The bottom line is that there are no exceptions for gravity - gravity always attracts particles in proportion to their mass. (Actually, this is not quite true - gravity attracts particles in proportion to their energies. In everyday life, the energy of any object is mostly mass energy, E = mc 2 , so for people, stones and stars, energy and mass are almost exact proportion. But gravity and light bends! If gravity attracted only mass, it would not attract light consisting of massless photons).

On the contrary, only particles that receive mass from the Higgs field have a relationship between their mass and the force of interaction with the Higgs. In particular, as can be seen from fig. 3 and 7, the Higgs particle does not receive all its mass from the non-zero Higgs field - and its force of interaction with itself is not directly connected with its mass. There is a correlation, but not a proportion. This is not such a rare case. In my other articles you will see many examples of hypothetical particles that get their mass in a different way - for example, particles appearing in such theories as supersymmetry or additional convoluted measurements.

So the link between gravity and energy (and, therefore, mass in everyday life) is absolute, while the link between Higgs and mass should exist only for known elementary particles, and it may not be the case for other elementary particles to be found - but such a connection is no longer confirmed for the Higgs particle.

In other words, any coincidences between the Higgs field and gravity will be purely random!

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/406467/

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