Higgs Blogging II
But the biggest problem with the Higgs is its attachment to the vacuum, and its pervasion of space. That's simply not something that particles do. So just because nobody has yet fully explained the particle masses any other way, doesn't mean the Higgs boson exists. How can we possibly hope to understand the Higgs mechanism without understanding mass?
A guest poster on The Everything Seminar today points out that most of our baryonic mass comes from the binding of quarks and other partons in atomic nuclei, and not from the rest mass of quarks themselves. In other words, an unseen seething relativistic swamp of matter, for which we don't even have a real theory, makes up most of the mass we care about, unless we want to consider Dark Matter as well, in which case we clearly don't know very much about anything. This is the realm of quantum gravity, not the Standard Model. Assuming Dark Matter requires a whole new category of observables, obliterating our trust in the old ones, and leads to the expectation of new physics at the TeV scale.