On the Heuristics of the Higgs Mechanism

Citation data:

Journal for General Philosophy of Science, ISSN: 0925-4560, Vol: 45, Issue: 2, Page: 351-367

Publication Year:
2014
Usage 446
Downloads 407
Abstract Views 23
HTML Views 15
Link-outs 1
Captures 4
Readers 3
Exports-Saves 1
Social Media 1
Tweets 1
Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10962
DOI:
10.1007/s10838-014-9258-4
Author(s):
Sébastien Rivat
Publisher(s):
Springer Nature, Springer
Tags:
Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences
Most Recent Tweet View All Tweets
article description
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.

This article has 0 Wikipedia mention.