A Philosophical Look at the Higgs Mechanism

Simon Friederich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

On the occasion of the recent experimental detection of a Higgs-type particle at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the paper reviews philosophical aspects of the Higgs mechanism as the presently preferred account of the generation of particle masses in the Standard Model of elementary particle physics and its most discussed extensions. The paper serves a twofold purpose: on the one hand, it offers an introduction to the Higgs mechanism and its most interesting philosophical aspects to readers not familiar with it; on the other hand, it clarifies widespread misunderstandings related to the role of gauge symmetries and their breaking in it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-350
Number of pages16
JournalJournal for General Philosophy of Science
Volume45
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Higgs mechanism
  • Gauge symmetries
  • Quantum field theory
  • Symmetry breaking
  • SYMMETRY-BREAKING
  • STRUCTURAL REALISM
  • GAUGE-THEORIES
  • INVARIANCE
  • MASS
  • LAWS

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