How is the Higgs field created

The Higgs boson or Higgs particle is a hypothetical elementary particle that is predicted in the Standard Model of elementary particle physics. In the Standard Model, the mass of the elementary particles is not a fundamental property of itself, but arises through the Higgs mechanism:

In 1964, the British physicist Peter Higgs developed a formal mechanism through which initially massless particles become massive through interaction with a background field (the Higgs field). Originally developed in the context of solid state physics, the same principle was transferred to elementary particle physics. It is interesting that a property (mass) of the particles that was originally regarded as fundamental is now presented as a "side effect" of an interaction. The fact that mass arises through interaction is not limited to the already mentioned Higgs mechanism; In fact, most of the mass of our everyday world is not based on the Higgs effect, but on the strong interaction between the quarks in the nucleons of the atomic nucleus (the mass of the quarks makes up only a small proportion of the mass of an atomic nucleus).

The Higgs particle has no electrical charge and the spin 0 is therefore a boson. According to current calculations (2006), its mass is probably between 117 gigaelectron volts (GeV) and 153 GeV (Fermilab 2007, determined from measurements of the W boson mass; protons and neutrons have approx. 1 GeV). In the event that no Higgs particle is found in the range up to 200 GeV, there are theories that predict a Higgs multiplet, which could also be realized at higher energies. The Higgs field couples to the other particles, the strength of this so-called Yukawa coupling being proportional to the mass of the particle. The interaction of the Higgs field with the originally massless states, which become massive through this interaction, is Yukawa-like (short-range because of the exponential dependence on the mass).

The Higgs boson is the only particle in the Standard Model that has not yet been proven experimentally (2007). The reason is probably its comparatively high mass, which means that it cannot be generated using existing elementary particle accelerators. Elementary particle physicists hope to produce the Higgs boson with the LHC at CERN, which will go into operation in mid-2008 (planned). The currently highest-energy particle accelerator Tevatron at Fermilab has not yet been able to detect the Higgs boson, but there is still hope of finding evidence or at least significantly reducing the permitted parameter range. The Higgs boson could not be detected at the LEP (also at CERN). Therefore, the current experimental lower limit for the mass of the Higgs boson can be given as 114.1 (2006) GeV.


  • Gordon Kane: The secret of the crowd. In: Spectrum of science. 2/2006. Spektrum der Wissenschaft Verlag, pp. 36-43, ISSN 0170-2971
  • John F. Gunion, Sally Dawson, Howard E. Haber: The Higgs Hunter's Guide. Perseus Books, July 2000.


  • RealVideo: What are Higgs particles? (from the TV show Alpha Centauri)