On the trail of dark energy: Physicists propose Higgs boson ‘portal’

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One of the biggest mysteries in contemporary particle physics and cosmology is why dark energy, which is observed to dominate energy density of the universe, has a remarkably small (but not zero) value. This value is so small, it is perhaps 120 orders of magnitude less than would be expected based on fundamental physics.


Resolving this problem, often called the cosmological constant problem, has so far eluded theorists.

Now, two physicists — Lawrence Krauss of Arizona State University and James Dent of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette — suggest that the recently discovered Higgs boson could provide a possible "portal" to physics that could help explain some of the attributes of the enigmatic dark energy, and help resolve the cosmological constant problem.

In their paper, "Higgs Seesaw Mechanism as a Source for Dark Energy," Krauss and Dent explore how a possible small coupling between the Higgs particle, and possible new particles likely to be associated with what is conventionally called the Grand Unified Scale — a scale perhaps 16 orders of magnitude smaller than the size of a proton, at which the three known non-gravitational forces in nature might converge into a single theory — could result in the existence of another background field in nature in addition to the Higgs field, which would contribute an energy density to empty space of precisely the correct scale to correspond to the observed energy density.

The paper was published online, Aug. 9, in Physical Review Letters.

Written By: ScienceDaily
continue to source article at sciencedaily.com

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  1. As is often the case with physics papers, it appears on the ArXiv months before it appears in peer-reviewed journals, but only the latter provokes the interest of the press. Either way, anyone can easily read the paper here. You need a background in fourth-year undergraduate theoretical physics or the equivalent to follow it, though.

    • In reply to #1 by Jos Gibbons:

      As is often the case with physics papers, it appears on the ArXiv months before it appears in peer-reviewed journals, but only the latter provokes the interest of the press. Either way, anyone can easily read the paper here. You need a background in fourth-year undergraduate theoretical physics or t…

      They say: “The simple model we
      provide is a proof of principle that a contribution corresponding to the observed magnitude of dark energy may
      arise naturally if additional scalar fields are mixed with
      the standard model Higgs with GUT-scale suppressions.”

      It’ll be a bit similar to the appearance of an electric field if there exists a magnetic field.

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