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FQXi BLOGS

January 19, 2018

(In anticipation of tomorrow’s possible Higgs announcement, we’re reposting Gerry Guralnik’s comments from December 2011 on the much anticipated status of the ATLAS and CMS searches for THE INFAMOUS BOSON and his own role in developing the theory behind it.)

Headlines have been buzzing for the past week or so about a possible glimpse of a certain long-sought particle at the LHC--with phrases such as “the biggest scientific breakthrough of the century so far” being bandied about. As the announcement approaches, I am reminded of the role that I played in predicting that now notorious particle’s existence.

I have been thinking about the solutions to quantum field theory and particularly spontaneous symmetry breaking for fifty years starting with the build up to my PhD thesis at Harvard. At that time, the concept that there could be solutions to field equations that have lesser symmetry than the actions that generated them was very surprising if not heretical. Now the idea is so accepted that last week I ended my lectures in my advanced quantum mechanics course at Brown with the Goldstone solution of spontaneous broken quartic scalar field theory. The ideas I explained in that course are an important part of the subsequent quantum field theory, string theory and phenomenology courses that these students will take on the way to their degrees.

Initially, what impressed me most about these new solutions was that the price paid for breaking a continuous symmetry was the necessity of a zero mass excitation demonstrated clearly in the leading order approximations that existed at the time and eventually confirmed generally by Goldstone, Salam and Weinberg. My thesis advisor, Walter Gilbert, suggested that I study a model proposed by Bjorken which was very interesting because it started with a four fermion vector-vector interaction, a theory that is not renormalizable in coupling constant perturbation theory. If the current is forced to have a non-vanishing vacuum value, Bjorken claimed that the result, at least in lowest order, is a theory identical to ordinary quantized electrodynamics (QED). This was a highly suspect result because the symmetry that is broken is Lorentz invariance. It turns out that this breaking is innocuous to all orders and that one sector of the solution space of this theory does yield normal electrodynamics complete with a massless unit spin photon. This intrigued me and I could not help but wonder if there was not a similar way to argue that the photon of normal QED is required to be massless. Indeed, I produced a proof which Sidney Coleman showed to be wrong (to my great embarrassment) in my thesis exam. This was, in retrospect, an obviously reckless thing to claim since Schwinger had recently argued that there was no dynamical reason for the photon to be massless and had illustrated his point by a toy model of QED in two space time dimensions. Indeed, it is now very clear that the structure of coupling constant perturbation theory, not a general dynamics argument, imposes the massless condition order by order on the photon.

Fortunately, despite the error, I still passed my thesis exam and moved from Harvard to Imperial College, London on a NSF postdoctoral fellowship. I was still obsessed with finding a general proof showing normal QED dynamically required a massless photon and wrote a paper in April of 1964 claiming to have found this argument and published it in Physical Review Letters. Almost immediately, I realized that I had only succeeded in producing a statement about massless gauge modes in manifestly covariant theories. A careful analysis of these results allowed Hagen, Kibble and I to make a general exact statement of the mass mechanism that shows that the Goldstone theorem only applies to unphysical modes of gauge theories. We then wrote the now well known GHK paper which states this mass mechanism and give a particular example – charge symmetry broken scalar electrodynamics. We were very slow in sending the results off for publication because my experiences showed how careful one needed to be with this problem and also because we hoped to further extend our conclusions with additional examples. We eventually decided it was time to publish and literally were putting the finished paper in the envelope when Kibble discovered new papers by Englert and Brout and Higgs. We glanced at these, recognized they addressed the same issue, but felt they were deficient. Neither group had the general mechanism but only the example. Further, neither group dealt correctly with the Goldstone boson which is definitely present in both of their manifestly covariant models. Englert and Brout state there is a massless excitation but do not recognize it as being pure gauge and Higgs fails to recognize that the solutions to his equations have a massless pure gauge excitation. Englert and Brout entirely miss the Scalar boson (Higgs) while Higgs and GHK explicitly show it.

We decided to cite these works but only altered our manuscript by adding, in several places, references to these just-revealed papers. Not a single thought or calculation was removed or added, nor was any change made but to the referencing in our manuscript as the result of Kibble’s having pointed out the existence of these new papers.

Any careful reading will show that our approach is very different from that of E, B or H. We further state emphatically that beyond seeing the papers at the final moment, we had no previous contact with E, B or H or previous knowledge of their work which is also clearly independent. I add that I had been talking freely about our results for months before the actual submission of the GHK paper.

Returning to the present, I am looking forward to Tuesday’s announcements, although I will be amazed if there are any definitive results. The verification of a particle, particularly this one, requires a large amount of data and a tremendous amount of care. I have been very impressed with how the experimentalists in general have been handling this and watching the Brown experimentalists (who I know well) at work – David Cutts, Ulrich Heintz, Greg Landsberg (Physics coordinator for CMS), Meenakshi Narain, and their army of eager postdocs and students, I have no doubt that if the Boson exists, it will be found and it will stay found. While my personal interest undoubtedly biases my opinion, I think it is highly likely that an elementary scalar boson exists. While beautiful theories have often been wrong, the evidence so far seems to make this almost a sure thing. Of course, the chaos that follows a non-discovery would be exciting as well, but I think it very unlikely.

Videos courtesy of Daniel Ferrante.

-----------

Gerald Guralnik is a professor of physics at Brown University, Providence, RI.

Video of the 2010 JJ Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics Talks for Higgs Brout Englert Guralnik Hagen Kibble.

The History of the Guralnik, Hagen and Kibble development of the Theory of Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking and Gauge Particles.

A recent APS talk: The Beginnings of Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking in Particle Physics— Derived From My on the Spot “Intellectual Battlefield Impressions”.

A new posting of a 1965 conference talk with considerable addition to the original GHK paper: Gauge Invariance and the Goldstone Theorem.

report post as inappropriate

I have been thinking about the solutions to quantum field theory and particularly spontaneous symmetry breaking for fifty years starting with the build up to my PhD thesis at Harvard. At that time, the concept that there could be solutions to field equations that have lesser symmetry than the actions that generated them was very surprising if not heretical. Now the idea is so accepted that last week I ended my lectures in my advanced quantum mechanics course at Brown with the Goldstone solution of spontaneous broken quartic scalar field theory. The ideas I explained in that course are an important part of the subsequent quantum field theory, string theory and phenomenology courses that these students will take on the way to their degrees.

Initially, what impressed me most about these new solutions was that the price paid for breaking a continuous symmetry was the necessity of a zero mass excitation demonstrated clearly in the leading order approximations that existed at the time and eventually confirmed generally by Goldstone, Salam and Weinberg. My thesis advisor, Walter Gilbert, suggested that I study a model proposed by Bjorken which was very interesting because it started with a four fermion vector-vector interaction, a theory that is not renormalizable in coupling constant perturbation theory. If the current is forced to have a non-vanishing vacuum value, Bjorken claimed that the result, at least in lowest order, is a theory identical to ordinary quantized electrodynamics (QED). This was a highly suspect result because the symmetry that is broken is Lorentz invariance. It turns out that this breaking is innocuous to all orders and that one sector of the solution space of this theory does yield normal electrodynamics complete with a massless unit spin photon. This intrigued me and I could not help but wonder if there was not a similar way to argue that the photon of normal QED is required to be massless. Indeed, I produced a proof which Sidney Coleman showed to be wrong (to my great embarrassment) in my thesis exam. This was, in retrospect, an obviously reckless thing to claim since Schwinger had recently argued that there was no dynamical reason for the photon to be massless and had illustrated his point by a toy model of QED in two space time dimensions. Indeed, it is now very clear that the structure of coupling constant perturbation theory, not a general dynamics argument, imposes the massless condition order by order on the photon.

Fortunately, despite the error, I still passed my thesis exam and moved from Harvard to Imperial College, London on a NSF postdoctoral fellowship. I was still obsessed with finding a general proof showing normal QED dynamically required a massless photon and wrote a paper in April of 1964 claiming to have found this argument and published it in Physical Review Letters. Almost immediately, I realized that I had only succeeded in producing a statement about massless gauge modes in manifestly covariant theories. A careful analysis of these results allowed Hagen, Kibble and I to make a general exact statement of the mass mechanism that shows that the Goldstone theorem only applies to unphysical modes of gauge theories. We then wrote the now well known GHK paper which states this mass mechanism and give a particular example – charge symmetry broken scalar electrodynamics. We were very slow in sending the results off for publication because my experiences showed how careful one needed to be with this problem and also because we hoped to further extend our conclusions with additional examples. We eventually decided it was time to publish and literally were putting the finished paper in the envelope when Kibble discovered new papers by Englert and Brout and Higgs. We glanced at these, recognized they addressed the same issue, but felt they were deficient. Neither group had the general mechanism but only the example. Further, neither group dealt correctly with the Goldstone boson which is definitely present in both of their manifestly covariant models. Englert and Brout state there is a massless excitation but do not recognize it as being pure gauge and Higgs fails to recognize that the solutions to his equations have a massless pure gauge excitation. Englert and Brout entirely miss the Scalar boson (Higgs) while Higgs and GHK explicitly show it.

We decided to cite these works but only altered our manuscript by adding, in several places, references to these just-revealed papers. Not a single thought or calculation was removed or added, nor was any change made but to the referencing in our manuscript as the result of Kibble’s having pointed out the existence of these new papers.

Any careful reading will show that our approach is very different from that of E, B or H. We further state emphatically that beyond seeing the papers at the final moment, we had no previous contact with E, B or H or previous knowledge of their work which is also clearly independent. I add that I had been talking freely about our results for months before the actual submission of the GHK paper.

Returning to the present, I am looking forward to Tuesday’s announcements, although I will be amazed if there are any definitive results. The verification of a particle, particularly this one, requires a large amount of data and a tremendous amount of care. I have been very impressed with how the experimentalists in general have been handling this and watching the Brown experimentalists (who I know well) at work – David Cutts, Ulrich Heintz, Greg Landsberg (Physics coordinator for CMS), Meenakshi Narain, and their army of eager postdocs and students, I have no doubt that if the Boson exists, it will be found and it will stay found. While my personal interest undoubtedly biases my opinion, I think it is highly likely that an elementary scalar boson exists. While beautiful theories have often been wrong, the evidence so far seems to make this almost a sure thing. Of course, the chaos that follows a non-discovery would be exciting as well, but I think it very unlikely.

Videos courtesy of Daniel Ferrante.

-----------

Gerald Guralnik is a professor of physics at Brown University, Providence, RI.

Video of the 2010 JJ Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics Talks for Higgs Brout Englert Guralnik Hagen Kibble.

The History of the Guralnik, Hagen and Kibble development of the Theory of Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking and Gauge Particles.

A recent APS talk: The Beginnings of Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking in Particle Physics— Derived From My on the Spot “Intellectual Battlefield Impressions”.

A new posting of a 1965 conference talk with considerable addition to the original GHK paper: Gauge Invariance and the Goldstone Theorem.

report post as inappropriate

CERN Press Release: http://press.web.cern.ch/press/pressreleases/Releases2012/PR

17.12E.html

CERN experiments observe particle consistent with long-sought Higgs boson

Geneva, 4 July 2012. At a seminar held at CERN1 today as a curtain raiser to the year’s major particle physics conference, ICHEP2012 in Melbourne, the ATLAS and CMS experiments presented their latest preliminary results in the search for the long sought Higgs particle. Both experiments observe a new particle in the mass region around 125-126 GeV.

“We observe in our data clear signs of a new particle, at the level of 5 sigma, in the mass region around 126 GeV. The outstanding performance of the LHC and ATLAS and the huge efforts of many people have brought us to this exciting stage,” said ATLAS experiment spokesperson Fabiola Gianotti, “but a little more time is needed to prepare these results for publication.”

"The results are preliminary but the 5 sigma signal at around 125 GeV we’re seeing is dramatic. This is indeed a new particle. We know it must be a boson and it’s the heaviest boson ever found,” said CMS experiment spokesperson Joe Incandela. “The implications are very significant and it is precisely for this reason that we must be extremely diligent in all of our studies and cross-checks."

“It’s hard not to get excited by these results,” said CERN Research Director Sergio Bertolucci. “ We stated last year that in 2012 we would either find a new Higgs-like particle or exclude the existence of the Standard Model Higgs. With all the necessary caution, it looks to me that we are at a branching point: the observation of this new particle indicates the path for the future towards a more detailed understanding of what we’re seeing in the data.”

The results presented today are labelled preliminary. They are based on data collected in 2011 and 2012, with the 2012 data still under analysis. Publication of the analyses shown today is expected around the end of July. A more complete picture of today’s observations will emerge later this year after the LHC provides the experiments with more data.

The next step will be to determine the precise nature of the particle and its significance for our understanding of the universe. Are its properties as expected for the long-sought Higgs boson, the final missing ingredient in the Standard Model of particle physics? Or is it something more exotic? The Standard Model describes the fundamental particles from which we, and every visible thing in the universe, are made, and the forces acting between them. All the matter that we can see, however, appears to be no more than about 4% of the total. A more exotic version of the Higgs particle could be a bridge to understanding the 96% of the universe that remains obscure.

“We have reached a milestone in our understanding of nature,” said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. “The discovery of a particle consistent with the Higgs boson opens the way to more detailed studies, requiring larger statistics, which will pin down the new particle’s properties, and is likely to shed light on other mysteries of our universe.”

Positive identification of the new particle’s characteristics will take considerable time and data. But whatever form the Higgs particle takes, our knowledge of the fundamental structure of matter is about to take a major step forward.

report post as inappropriate

17.12E.html

CERN experiments observe particle consistent with long-sought Higgs boson

Geneva, 4 July 2012. At a seminar held at CERN1 today as a curtain raiser to the year’s major particle physics conference, ICHEP2012 in Melbourne, the ATLAS and CMS experiments presented their latest preliminary results in the search for the long sought Higgs particle. Both experiments observe a new particle in the mass region around 125-126 GeV.

“We observe in our data clear signs of a new particle, at the level of 5 sigma, in the mass region around 126 GeV. The outstanding performance of the LHC and ATLAS and the huge efforts of many people have brought us to this exciting stage,” said ATLAS experiment spokesperson Fabiola Gianotti, “but a little more time is needed to prepare these results for publication.”

"The results are preliminary but the 5 sigma signal at around 125 GeV we’re seeing is dramatic. This is indeed a new particle. We know it must be a boson and it’s the heaviest boson ever found,” said CMS experiment spokesperson Joe Incandela. “The implications are very significant and it is precisely for this reason that we must be extremely diligent in all of our studies and cross-checks."

“It’s hard not to get excited by these results,” said CERN Research Director Sergio Bertolucci. “ We stated last year that in 2012 we would either find a new Higgs-like particle or exclude the existence of the Standard Model Higgs. With all the necessary caution, it looks to me that we are at a branching point: the observation of this new particle indicates the path for the future towards a more detailed understanding of what we’re seeing in the data.”

The results presented today are labelled preliminary. They are based on data collected in 2011 and 2012, with the 2012 data still under analysis. Publication of the analyses shown today is expected around the end of July. A more complete picture of today’s observations will emerge later this year after the LHC provides the experiments with more data.

The next step will be to determine the precise nature of the particle and its significance for our understanding of the universe. Are its properties as expected for the long-sought Higgs boson, the final missing ingredient in the Standard Model of particle physics? Or is it something more exotic? The Standard Model describes the fundamental particles from which we, and every visible thing in the universe, are made, and the forces acting between them. All the matter that we can see, however, appears to be no more than about 4% of the total. A more exotic version of the Higgs particle could be a bridge to understanding the 96% of the universe that remains obscure.

“We have reached a milestone in our understanding of nature,” said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. “The discovery of a particle consistent with the Higgs boson opens the way to more detailed studies, requiring larger statistics, which will pin down the new particle’s properties, and is likely to shed light on other mysteries of our universe.”

Positive identification of the new particle’s characteristics will take considerable time and data. But whatever form the Higgs particle takes, our knowledge of the fundamental structure of matter is about to take a major step forward.

report post as inappropriate

Frank Wilczek in NOVA’s Nature of Reality Blog. has described in a separate post, Higgs Bosons as a constituent of standard model of physics. It brings out clearly the thought process behind Higgs Bosons. In his words;

'The Higgs particle is The Quantum of Ubiquitous Resistance. I’m referring here to a universe-filling medium that offers resistance to the motion of many elementary particles, thus producing what we commonly think of as their mass.'

This indicates persistence of Ether in thought process of contemporary science. I thought interpretation of ‘Matter as Extended Substance' from French philosopher R. Descartes and ether has been discounted.

Another way of understanding nature consistence with standard model is to consider human intuition 'Space contains Energy' represent nature with 5-Dimensions. The five dimensions include 3 dimensions of space (3-D infinite continuum), and 2 dimensions of matter (Energy and time of 2-D Matter). The dimension time is mapped to one dimension (drift direction of particle). With this model, all type of particles – atoms, nucleus, elementary particles – moving at speed less than speed, photons – equals speed of light, neutrinos – capable of speed greater than light are explained. We don’t to attribute any characteristic to space, but as a container of energy. In addition gravitation, action at a distance etc are easily understood as characteristic of these objects. The cosmic observations (Expanding universe, Big Bang epoch, Background radiation) are integrated into this 5-D model of universe.

If we have to integrate experimental results connected with Higgs Bosons into 5-Dimensional model of the universe, both Higgs Bosons and Neutrinos carry space disturbance from one compilation of energy bearing particles to another. While Neutrinos represent singularity in space continuum of one type, Higgs Boson represents singularity of another type. The singularities in space are introduced by intense activity (Interaction between elementary particles).

In this sense, Higgs Boson’s are complimentary particles to Neutrinos?

The newly discovered particle is looking for its place in standard model of science. But as quantized space - is not amicable to human intuition. This will push abstractions in science a step beyond comprehension of non-physicists.

report post as inappropriate

'The Higgs particle is The Quantum of Ubiquitous Resistance. I’m referring here to a universe-filling medium that offers resistance to the motion of many elementary particles, thus producing what we commonly think of as their mass.'

This indicates persistence of Ether in thought process of contemporary science. I thought interpretation of ‘Matter as Extended Substance' from French philosopher R. Descartes and ether has been discounted.

Another way of understanding nature consistence with standard model is to consider human intuition 'Space contains Energy' represent nature with 5-Dimensions. The five dimensions include 3 dimensions of space (3-D infinite continuum), and 2 dimensions of matter (Energy and time of 2-D Matter). The dimension time is mapped to one dimension (drift direction of particle). With this model, all type of particles – atoms, nucleus, elementary particles – moving at speed less than speed, photons – equals speed of light, neutrinos – capable of speed greater than light are explained. We don’t to attribute any characteristic to space, but as a container of energy. In addition gravitation, action at a distance etc are easily understood as characteristic of these objects. The cosmic observations (Expanding universe, Big Bang epoch, Background radiation) are integrated into this 5-D model of universe.

If we have to integrate experimental results connected with Higgs Bosons into 5-Dimensional model of the universe, both Higgs Bosons and Neutrinos carry space disturbance from one compilation of energy bearing particles to another. While Neutrinos represent singularity in space continuum of one type, Higgs Boson represents singularity of another type. The singularities in space are introduced by intense activity (Interaction between elementary particles).

In this sense, Higgs Boson’s are complimentary particles to Neutrinos?

The newly discovered particle is looking for its place in standard model of science. But as quantized space - is not amicable to human intuition. This will push abstractions in science a step beyond comprehension of non-physicists.

report post as inappropriate

Fabiola Gianotti for ATLAS: Standard Model #Higgs 5.0 sigma at 126.5 GeV. "Very nice of SM Higgs boson to be at that mass. So thanks nature!"

report post as inappropriate

report post as inappropriate

Standard Model & 5-D Universe

Frank Wilczek in NOVA’s Nature of Reality Blog. has described in a separate post, Higgs Bosons as a constituent of standard model of physics. It brings out clearly the thought process behind Higgs Bosons. In his words;

'The Higgs particle is The Quantum of Ubiquitous Resistance. I’m referring here to a universe-filling medium that offers resistance to the motion of many elementary particles, thus producing what we commonly think of as their mass.'

This indicates persistence of Ether in thought process of contemporary science. I thought interpretation of ‘Matter as Extended Substance' from French philosopher R. Descartes and ether has been discounted.

Another way of understanding nature consistence with standard model is to consider human intuition 'Space contains Energy' represent nature with 5-Dimensions. The five dimensions include 3 dimensions of space (3-D infinite continuum), and 2 dimensions of matter (Energy and time of 2-D Matter). The dimension time is mapped to one dimension (drift direction of particle). With this model, all type of particles – atoms, nucleus, elementary particles – moving at speed less than speed, photons – equals speed of light, neutrinos – capable of speed greater than light are explained. We don’t to attribute any characteristic to space, but as a container of energy. In addition gravitation, action at a distance etc are easily understood as characteristic of these objects. The cosmic observations (Expanding universe, Big Bang epoch, Background radiation) are integrated into this 5-D model of universe.

If we have to integrate experimental results connected with Higgs Bosons into 5-Dimensional model of the universe, both Higgs Bosons and Neutrinos carry space disturbance from one compilation of energy bearing particles to another. While Neutrinos represent singularity in space continuum of one type, Higgs Boson represents singularity of another type. The singularities in space are introduced by intense activity (Interaction between elementary particles).

In this sense, Higgs Boson’s are complimentary particles to Neutrinos?

The newly discovered particle is looking for its place in standard model of science. But as quantized space - is not amicable to human intuition. This will push abstractions in science a step beyond comprehension of non-physicists.

report post as inappropriate

Frank Wilczek in NOVA’s Nature of Reality Blog. has described in a separate post, Higgs Bosons as a constituent of standard model of physics. It brings out clearly the thought process behind Higgs Bosons. In his words;

'The Higgs particle is The Quantum of Ubiquitous Resistance. I’m referring here to a universe-filling medium that offers resistance to the motion of many elementary particles, thus producing what we commonly think of as their mass.'

This indicates persistence of Ether in thought process of contemporary science. I thought interpretation of ‘Matter as Extended Substance' from French philosopher R. Descartes and ether has been discounted.

Another way of understanding nature consistence with standard model is to consider human intuition 'Space contains Energy' represent nature with 5-Dimensions. The five dimensions include 3 dimensions of space (3-D infinite continuum), and 2 dimensions of matter (Energy and time of 2-D Matter). The dimension time is mapped to one dimension (drift direction of particle). With this model, all type of particles – atoms, nucleus, elementary particles – moving at speed less than speed, photons – equals speed of light, neutrinos – capable of speed greater than light are explained. We don’t to attribute any characteristic to space, but as a container of energy. In addition gravitation, action at a distance etc are easily understood as characteristic of these objects. The cosmic observations (Expanding universe, Big Bang epoch, Background radiation) are integrated into this 5-D model of universe.

If we have to integrate experimental results connected with Higgs Bosons into 5-Dimensional model of the universe, both Higgs Bosons and Neutrinos carry space disturbance from one compilation of energy bearing particles to another. While Neutrinos represent singularity in space continuum of one type, Higgs Boson represents singularity of another type. The singularities in space are introduced by intense activity (Interaction between elementary particles).

In this sense, Higgs Boson’s are complimentary particles to Neutrinos?

The newly discovered particle is looking for its place in standard model of science. But as quantized space - is not amicable to human intuition. This will push abstractions in science a step beyond comprehension of non-physicists.

report post as inappropriate

Respected Higgs Boson...you are now considered as inventor of earth ! Hats off to your research !

real estate Montana

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real estate Montana

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