L7.2 Higgs Physics: Fermion Masses | Summary and Q&A

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June 24, 2021
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L7.2 Higgs Physics: Fermion Masses

TL;DR

The Higgs mechanism explains how gauge bosons acquire mass through the Higgs field, but fermions require a different solution.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How do gauge bosons acquire mass through the Higgs mechanism?

Gauge bosons, such as the W and Z bosons, acquire mass through their coupling to the Higgs field's vacuum expectation value, which breaks the symmetry and gives them mass.

Q: Why can't fermions have mass added to their Lagrangian equation?

Adding mass to the fermion Lagrangian would violate gauge invariance. Fermions require a different solution to acquire mass.

Q: How do fermions acquire mass according to the Higgs mechanism?

Fermions acquire mass through their interaction with the Higgs field. The interaction turns left-handed fermions into right-handed fermions and vice versa.

Q: Are all fermions described by the same Yukawa coupling?

No, each fermion has its own Yukawa coupling, which is a free parameter in the standard model. The Yukawa coupling determines the strength of the fermion's interaction with the Higgs field and, consequently, its mass.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The Higgs mechanism explains how gauge bosons acquire mass through the Higgs field's vacuum expectation value.

  • Fermions cannot simply have mass added to their Lagrangian equation because it would violate gauge invariance.

  • Fermions interact with the Higgs field, which turns them into right-handed particles, and this interaction is described by Yukawa couplings.

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