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Eating Goldstone bosons in a phase transition: A critical review of Lyre's analysis of the Higgs mechanism

Wüthrich, Adrian (2012) Eating Goldstone bosons in a phase transition: A critical review of Lyre's analysis of the Higgs mechanism. [Preprint]

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Abstract

In this note, I briefly review Lyre’s (2008) analysis and interpretation of the Higgs mechanism. Contrary to Lyre, I maintain that, on the proper understanding of the term, the Higgs mechanism refers to a physical process in the course of which gauge bosons acquire a mass. Since also Lyre’s worries about imaginary masses can be dismissed, a realistic interpretation of the Higgs mechanism seems viable. While it may remain an open empirical question whether the Higgs mechanism did actually occur in the early history of the universe and what the details of the mechanism are, I claim that the term can certainly refer to a physical process.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Wüthrich, Adrian
Additional Information: Forthcoming in the Journal for General Philosophy of Science
Keywords: gauge transformations, Higgs mechanism, representation, symmetry
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Depositing User: Adrian Wüthrich
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2012 17:44
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2012 17:44
Item ID: 9384
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9384

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