Of Particular Significance

Creating a New Particle from the Annihilation of Two Others

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

ON 10/10/2012

[Long silence should be over for now; personal issues had to take precedence for a little while.]

Back to building up articles on how the Higgs field works! As part of the necessary background, I’ve added another general article on how particles and fields interact with each other to my series on Particles and Fields (with a little math — first-year university level.)

This one explains, among other things, how a small modification of the equations of motion for fields allows two particles of one type to annihilate and create a third one of a different type.  Examples of such phenomena include the collision and annihilation of a quark and an antiquark to form a Z particle, or the collision and annihilation of two gluons to form a Higgs particle. Particle decay is often just the time-reversed process.

Moreover, similar modifications of the equations are essential in allowing the Higgs field to give mass to other particles.

So this is one of the most important articles, and one of the most sophisticated, to appear on this website so far.  Although there are a couple of animations to help you visualize what is going on, to understand the text you will want to have read the other articles in the Particles and Fields series first.

Share via:


Leave a Reply


Buy The Book

A decay of a Higgs boson, as reconstructed by the CMS experiment at the LHC


Although I’ve been slowly revising the Higgs FAQ 2.0, this seemed an appropriate time to bring the Higgs FAQ on this website fully into the

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

ON 04/15/2024

The particle physics community is mourning the passing of Peter Higgs, the influential theoretical physicist and 2013 Nobel Prize laureate. Higgs actually wrote very few

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

ON 04/12/2024