The Elusive Higgs Mechanism

Philosophy of Science 73 (5):487-499 (2006)
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Abstract

The Higgs mechanism is an essential but elusive component of the Standard Model of particle physics. Without it Yang‐Mills gauge theories would have been little more than a warm‐up exercise in the attempt to quantize gravity rather than serving as the basis for the Standard Model. This article focuses on two problems related to the Higgs mechanism clearly posed in Earman’s recent papers (Earman 2003, 2004a, 2004b): what is the gauge‐invariant content of the Higgs mechanism, and what does it mean to break a local gauge symmetry?

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Chris Smeenk
University of Western Ontario

Citations of this work

A philosopher looks at string dualities.Dean Rickles - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (1):54-67.
Does the Higgs mechanism exist?Holger Lyre - 2008 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (2):119-133.

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References found in this work

Symmetries in Physics: Philosophical Reflections.Katherine Brading & Elena Castellani (eds.) - 2002 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Symmetry and Symmetry Breaking.Katherine Brading & Elena Castellani - forthcoming - The Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Curie’s Principle and spontaneous symmetry breaking.John Earman - 2004 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 18 (2 & 3):173 – 198.

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