Let me speak a little bit on this “Higgs” stuff. The “thing” discovered decayed into two photons. A meson made of a quark and its own anti-quark, could decay into two photons–considering the J/psi particle (which is made of a charmed quark and an anti-charm quark). So, how do we know that the new particle isn’t a combination of a very heavy, newly-encountered quark and its anti-quark?
In order to make the weak force theory work out quantitatively, the Higgs boson had to be within a certain mass range. I do not think that “it” was found there, instead scientists just went to a different mass range. I wish I had a reference to back that up…
Also, let me say that the comment from @CERN physicist, Gian Giudice, is him pointing out that most of the mass of baryonic matter is indeed produced by a mechanism other than the Higgs mechanism. More than likely, it’s the result of color confinement–QCD-colored particles cannot be more than 10^(-15)m from each other because of their interaction strength growing even stronger. What this means is that the quark [and gluon] wave functions in a hadron can have at most that size thus allowing the bumping up of their [kinetic] energy.
Kinetic energies of the quarks and gluons according to the Standard Model of these mass fractions for the present time:
Baryonic matter: 5%
Dark matter: 23%
Dark energy: 72%
Both dark energy and dark matter are so obscure it’s difficult to figure them as Standard Model-particles.
If I have only a single proton inside of a bottle, somehow, I have set up a spatially-varying electric potential inside that bottle. Initially, the proton is in a region that’s comprised of extremely high electric potential so that the proton’s electrostatic potential energy can make a significant contribution to the total mass of the bottle. Time will pass by and now the electric field has pushed the proton to a region of zero electric potential. Energy is conserved: the proton’s potential energy is now converted into a very large kinetic energy. As an observer outside the bottle, you would notice no charge in its total mass. Understand that initially the bottle’s mass was largely due to the electrostatic potential energy of the proton.
Simply speaking, energy is being transformed from one type to another. Sort of like death, in a non-philosophical sense.
Perhaps, without “Higgs”, an electron’s rest mass (potential energy) would only decrease by the amount of rest mass of an electron-neutrino, presumably that is what an electron would be without its charge. The rest of the electron’s mass would have to be electromagnetic.
Also, there is no gauge-type redundancy in a #Higgs field. The #Higgs is not a gauge boson. Rather, it is a spin-0 field, meaning that it only has one component. Gauge bosons are a spin-1 field, meaning that it’s comprised of four components–one in each direction of space-time. Gauge bosons, in fact, can feel the forces they mediate. In QFT (quantum field theory), it is not necessary that everything be fundamentally “massless”. It is only necessary that gauge bosons be “massless” and that fermion masses not violate any symmetries.
What’s seemingly problematic about fermion mass is that fermion mass terms require chiral symmetry and the isospin part of the weak force does not obey it. Since this happens, fundamental masses for the fermion mass actually break the symmetry of the weak force in a way that would make the theory inconsistent; point being, it’s sort of a fluke that everything in the standard model has to get mass in such a dynamical way.
This fluke makes it seem odd that the #Higgs field does have a fundamental mass #parameter, when it shouldn’t be that way. The #Higgs mass is really just a function of that mass parameter combined with the effects of the #Higgs‘ interactions with itself.
Any field that opposes a change in motion of a particle could result as the cause of that particle’s mass. That field, itself, could be the result from a new property of matter. The #Higgs‘ current popularity, on part from the discovery by “scientists” (snicker) how it restores symmetries to other fields in the standard model, however, the standard model does not include gravity. When you think of how important the concept of mass is to the gravitational theory, all of this excitement seems rather peculiar.