Mario Novello. Mach or Higgs? The mechanisms to generate mass

Natural Sciences / Physics / Particle physics

Submitted on: Jul 06, 2012, 02:40:33

Description: With the imminent confirmation or disproof of the existence of Higgs boson by LHC experiments it is time to analyze in a non-dogmatic way the proposals to understand the origin of the mass. Here we analyze a new version of Mach's principle according to which gravity is what is really responsible for the generation of mass of all bodies. The condition for this is the existence of an energy distribution represented by the vacuum or the cosmological constant term. The great novelty of this mechanism is that the gravitational field acts merely as a catalyst, once the final expression of the mass depends neither on the intensity and particular properties of the gravitational field nor on the value of Newton's constant. It was precisely the wrong belief that the value of the mass obtained through any gravitational scheme must depend on Newton's constant which was responsible for not considering gravity as an important actor in the mechanism of generating mass. We review briefly the alternative Higgs mechanism in order to compare both processes.

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