Basics of perturbative QCD by Yuri Dokshitzer

By Yuri Dokshitzer

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The Higgs is fundamentally different from all the other bosons. The others, as we’ll see in Chapter Eight, all arise because of some symmetry of nature connecting what happens at different points in space. Once you believe in these symmetries, the bosons are practically inevitable. But the Higgs isn’t like that at all. There is no deep principle that requires its existence, but it exists anyway. After the LHC announced the Higgs discovery on July 4, hundreds of attempts were made at explaining what it was supposed to mean.

In fact, with the notable exception of gravity (which is pretty straightforward, pulling everything down), all of those everyday phenomena are just manifestations of electromagnetism and its interactions with atoms. This is the triumph of modern science: to boil the marvelous variety of the world around us down to just a few simple ingredients. Fields pervade the universe Of these four forces, one has long stood out as weird: the weak force. Notice that gravity has gravitons, electromagnetism has photons, and the strong force has gluons; one kind of boson for each force.

It’s an unfortunate accident of history that this terminology was seized upon by John Dalton, a chemist who worked in the early 1800s, to refer to the pieces that define chemical elements. What we now think of as an atom is not indivisible at all—it consists of a nucleus made of protons and neutrons, around which orbit a collection of electrons. ” The quarks and electrons are the real atoms, in Democritus’s sense of indivisible building blocks of matter. ” Two kinds of quarks—known playfully as “up” and “down”—go into making the protons and neutrons of an atomic nucleus.

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