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

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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.

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  1. I stick with the notation of my 2008 paper but skip over an unnecessary intermediate step in which \({\cal L}'\) was transformed into a mathematically equivalent Lagrangian \({\cal L}''\) and which more explicitly shows how the unphysical Goldstone boson ϑ becomes absorbed into A μ due to the above gauge.


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Correspondence to Holger Lyre.

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Lyre, H. The Just-So Higgs Story: A Response to Adrian Wüthrich. J Gen Philos Sci 43, 289–294 (2012).

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