Journal for General Philosophy of Science

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 289–294 | Cite as

The Just-So Higgs Story: A Response to Adrian Wüthrich

Article

I give a response to Adrian Wüthrich’s critical review of my analysis of the Higgs mechanism, in which I try to clarify some possible misunderstandings. I concede that, as Wüthrich points out, many physicists see the Higgs mechanism as the roll-over from a symmetrical potential in the initial Lagrangian to a symmetry-breaking potential, while my former analysis had basically focused on the gauge-invariant transformation of the initial Lagrangian into the intended form. My main contention, however, still is that neither Higgs story has (as yet) much explanatory power.

Keywords

Higgs mechanism Gauge invariant account Explanatory power Neutrinos 

References

  1. Earman, J. (2004). Laws, symmetry, and symmetry breaking: Invariance, conservation principles, and objectivity. Philosophy of Science, 71, 1227–1241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Friederich, S. (2012). Gauge symmetry breaking in gauge theories—In search of clarification. European Journal for Philosophy of Science, online first version.Google Scholar
  3. Healey, R. (2007). Gauging what’s real: The conceptual foundations of gauge theories. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Lyre, H. (2008). Does the Higgs mechanism exist? International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 22(2), 119–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Murayama, H. (2002). The origin of neutrino mass. Physics World, 5, 35–39.Google Scholar
  6. Smeenk, C. (2006). The elusive Higgs mechanism. Philosophy of Science, 73, 487–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Struyve, W. (2011). Gauge invariant accounts of the Higgs mechanism. Studies In History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 42(4), 226–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Wüthrich, A. (2010). Eating Goldstone bosons in a phase transition: A critical review of Lyre’s analysis of the Higgs mechanism. General Journal for Philosophy of Science, this volume.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany

Personalised recommendations