PhilSci Archive

On the heuristics of the Higgs mechanism

Rivat, Sébastien (2014) On the heuristics of the Higgs mechanism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science. ISSN 0925-4560

This is the latest version of this item.

[img]
Preview
PDF
Sebastien_Rivat_-_Spontaneous_symmetry_breaking_-_2.pdf - Published Version

Download (180kB)

Abstract

This article has two aims. First, I undertake an extensive review of the Higgs mechanism and its connections with spontaneous symmetry breaking and the Goldstone theorem. I take the opportunity to expound and discuss a certain number of philosophical issues, amongst them surplus structure and redundancies. Second, I offer a defence of the metaphor according to which 'gauge fields eat Goldstone bosons to gain a mass’ as sensible rather than merely misleading. It is sensible because there is a direct physical correspondence between the longitudinal polarization of massive gauge fields and Goldstone bosons, which is not merely set by a gauge-fixing procedure. In these terms, I wish to argue that the mechanism which allows for the discovery of the Higgs boson has more than merely heuristic and methodological virtue.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Rivat, Sébastiensr3109@columbia.edu
Keywords: Higgs mechanism, Goldstone bosons, Spontaneous symmetry breaking, Gauge theories, Quantum field theories, Realism
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Depositing User: Mr. Sébastien Rivat
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2014 05:06
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2014 05:06
Item ID: 10962
Journal or Publication Title: Journal for General Philosophy of Science
Publisher: Springer
Official URL: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10838-...
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/s10838-014-9258-4
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Date: 2014
ISSN: 0925-4560
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10962

Available Versions of this Item

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Altmetric.com

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item