Philosophical perspectives on ad hoc hypotheses and the Higgs mechanism

Simon Friederich, Robert Harlander, Koray Karaca*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We examine physicists' charge of ad hocness against the Higgs mechanism in the standard model of elementary particle physics. We argue that even though this charge never rested on a clear-cut and well-entrenched definition of "ad hoc", it is based on conceptual and methodological assumptions and principles that are well-founded elements of the scientific practice of high-energy particle physics. We further evaluate the implications of the recent discovery of a Higgs-like particle at the CERN's Large Hadron Collider for the charge of ad hocness against the Higgs mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3897-3917
Number of pages21
JournalSynthese
Volume191
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ad hoc hypothesis
  • Higgs mechanism
  • Particle physics
  • Spontaneous symmetry braking
  • Fine-tuning
  • Naturalness
  • SPONTANEOUS SYMMETRY-BREAKING
  • BOSON
  • SEARCH
  • MODEL
  • PARTICLE
  • MASS
  • LHC

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