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The Higgs-Boson particle is supposedly the origin of all gravity. And we discovered it. And we can play with it. What does this mean for interactions with gravity? How can we use this knowledge in cool ways?

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closed as off-topic by user15036, Brythan, Hohmannfan, mjr, bilbo_pingouin Mar 10 '16 at 6:52

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about worldbuilding, within the scope defined in the help center." – Brythan, Hohmannfan, mjr
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Definitely relevant: Higgs boson - significance $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Mar 9 '16 at 19:39
  • $\begingroup$ This seems like a straightforward science question. Can you clarify how it relates to worldbuilding? $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Mar 9 '16 at 22:52
  • $\begingroup$ What epic things can we do with it, in worldbuilding lingo. $\endgroup$ – Caleb Woodman Mar 10 '16 at 1:46
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    $\begingroup$ Nope, Higgs boson is not so-called "the origin of all gravity". It is merely the excitation of Higgs field. It is not quite useful except for verifying some knowledge. $\endgroup$ – Nicky C Mar 10 '16 at 2:40
  • $\begingroup$ Make an answer of it, I'll vote for it. :( $\endgroup$ – Caleb Woodman Mar 10 '16 at 3:18
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Mass and inertia are all predicted as effects of interactions with the Higgs field. Higgs Bosons are the exchange medium for interactions with the Higgs field (much like other particle exchanges are thought to be the intermediaries for various forces in the Standard Model).

The easy explanation for how this works is the "Higgs Party" (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v448/n7151/fig_tab/nature06079_F1.html)

The behaviour of physicists in a crowded social event at a conference is an analogy for the Higgs mechanism, as proposed by David Miller (University College London). The physicists represent a non-trivial medium permeating space. In the upper panel, the physicists cluster around a famous scientist who enters the room, slowing the scientist's progress. In much the same way, a particle passing through the Higgs–Brout–Englert field slows down and acquires a mass. In the lower panel, a rumour propagates. This is an excitation of the medium — the group of physicists — itself, forming a body with a large mass; this is analogous to the formation of a Higgs boson. Figure reproduced with permission from CERN.

Higgs party

So the ability to manipulate the Higgs field means you can essentially "switch on" and "switch off" mass and inertia. Bodies with little rest mass will be more easily accelerated and decelerated, allowing for easy transportation of even very massive objects, or making spaceflight orders of magnitude easier. IF rest mass can be eliminated entirely, then the object could theoretically move at c, much like photons do.

Eliminating inertia means that movement in 3D is not constrained, making right angle turns at high speed won't result in the vehicle being destroyed or you being splattered inside due to the "g" forces involved.

Of course both these effects can be done in reverse as well, rather than moving the Great Pyramid because you eliminated its weight, you pin the glass figurine to the mantle so the cat won't knock it off.

This site suggests that playing with the Higs field can also create "confused matter", where nuclear particles "loose" their properties because the Higgs field has been disturbed, as well as other manipulations and creations of such objects as magnetic monopoles: http://www.aleph.se/Nada/Game/BigIdeas/higgs.html

I might add that manipulation of the Higgs field might also allow for the manipulation of "dark matter", which only interacts with normal Baryonic matter via gravity, although this is wildly speculative.

How much of this is possible is far beyond my pay grade, but since large scale manipulation of the Higgs field is handwavium at this time, YMMV.

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    $\begingroup$ Magnetic monopoles are theoretical artifacts that are predicted in some physics models, but have never been seen. As for dark matter, since it obviously interacts with baryonic matter via gravity, being able to manipulate mass means effectively being able to manipulate gravity. Once you can do that, you should be able to start directly affecting dark matter. Since we have no idea of the physical properties of dark matter, I have no idea what you could do with it. $\endgroup$ – Thucydides Mar 10 '16 at 3:32
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    $\begingroup$ So the ability to manipulate the Higgs field means you can essentially "switch on" and "switch off" mass and inertia. - Note that the first page you linked to doesn't say this, the second seems to be science fiction. A physics phd says here that the idea doesn't really make sense, so a physicist says here that not all particles' rest mass comes from Higgs, and gravity doesn't depend on it. $\endgroup$ – Hypnosifl Mar 10 '16 at 5:09

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