Fairy Fields

Weinberg described a theory of electroweak forces in 1967. He shared the Nobel prize for this unification with Glashow and Salam in 1979. Another gauge theory, quantum chromodynamics, took much longer to be accepted as experimental verification slowly came in. Gluons were only discovered at PETRA II at DESY in 1979.

The electroweak theory required a Higgs boson to explain the aquisition of mass of particles. It is a shame that these events occurred in the order that they did, although of course it had to be. For a long time many physicists took the Higgs mechanism seriously and failed to investigate clues from QCD. QCD is, after all, a theory for quarks which participate in the weak interactions.

Replacing the Higgs mechanism within the framework of rigorous QFT has proven to be a daunting task. It was, however, quite clearly never an explanation for mass quantum numbers, which by definition must arise in a quantum gravitational theory.

2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    CarlBrannen said,

    Re mass quantum numbers. Insightful comments, as usual, Kea.

    I’ve got a set of preliminary slides for the Joint Particle Physics meeting in Hawaii. I’ve loaded them onto the web here. These are just the preliminary ones, and I’m not telling anyone but you (I suppose your readers too) that they are there. But I approach the lecture from the point of view of Higgs vevs being replaced by preons.


  2. 2

    Kea said,

    Thanks a lot, Carl. But, the slides are all over PF already from the conference website, no? Of course your preon approach is the only decent way we have yet to fully explain the lack of Higgs.

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