reply to post by arpgme
Very interesting. I know many people will be mad now that their theories which were based on Higgs not existing - is debunked!
I'm not so quick to hit the "I believe" button.
They believe they've found a particle consistent with the Higgs Boson as it was predicted.
It's easy to see what you want to see. They really haven't had much time for proper peer review, and the results will likely need to be analyzed by
The true tests will come when they begin trying to perform more specific experiments to try and test other theories regarding how the Higgs is
expected to behave. They may or may not find it to behave as expected.
Further, there is a laundry list of other particles that have been 'discovered' (hinted at within data analysis) over the past several years by
various accelerators and teams that were not predicted by our models and will be awaiting experiments to verify their existence. Each of which could
radically change our models and upset the interpretation of existing data.
"The Higgs Field" - that sounds very interesting. The Higgs particles create mass, but what exactly is this "Field" and what does it do?
Much the same thing. To be accurate - "particles" do not exist. All that we -can- know to exist is a discrete exchange of energy quanta (or
"packet"). What we refer to as particles is the process by which energy is exchanged and absorbed - which is always done in quantized packets based
off of the Planck Constants.
Which is why it gets a little dangerous in quantum mechanics to talk about physical things. Various experiments show the inherent reality-defying
phenomena of QM.
Let's say, for instance, we take a laser beam emitting a single-file line of photons. We can split the wave function of these photons - so that half
of each photon goes through one chamber while the other half passes through another. Something strange happens, however, when you place a reflective
screen to see how your laser light behaves. You see an interference pattern - waves, if you will. Moving the chambers farther apart alters the
'frequency' of your interference pattern. This illustrates that each photon (we can do this one photon at a time over the course of several hours,
days, months, etc to make sure only one photon is involved - I'm giving you the expedient version) passed through both chambers.
So light's a wave... right?
Well, let's say you place a polarizing plate in one of those chambers - you want to know what the polarity of the light is that passes through that
chamber (thus, you require a photon to give up its polarity). Now, your interference pattern disappears as the photon can be in either one chamber of
the other. Not both.
You can add and remove your polarizing plate at will - removing it restores the interference pattern, replacing it destroys it and you get two
'beams' of light - half the photons going through one chamber, half going through the other.
Yet your other experiment clearly showed that each photon traveled through both chambers.
Which is why the concept of particles as real entities is a little tricky. They arise as concepts because of their convenience in explaining energy
exchange. However, experiments have pretty much established that the particle - if it exists at all - comes into existence for brief moments to
facilitate energy/information exchange.
It's something of a skeleton in the closet for physics - while we work with QM and can describe it very accurately and well.... actually putting it
into the context of reality is something that's almost intentionally buried beneath equations (see the Copenhagen Interpretation).
The field generally refers to the wave-function of a force carrier while the particle is used to refer to the quanta exchanged (or in instances where
it's more convenient to think of energy quanta as physical particles as it better describes their mechanics). The wave-function is an expression of
where the particle is likely to be when you look for it.