John Armstrong has posted an outstanding 4-part article describing how the Higgs mechanism actually works. But this isn’t the usual pop-sci/lame metaphor approach. No sir, he tackles the mathematics, covering the basics of Lagrangians, gauge theory, and symmetry-breaking. I’m rather astonished that he was able to cover the high-points of some of the most important aspects of modern physics in such a brief treatment.
- The Higgs Mechanism part 1: Lagrangians
- The Higgs Mechanism part 2: Examples of Lagrangian Field Equations
- The Higgs Mechanism part 3: Gauge Symmetries
- The Higgs Mechanism part 4: Symmetry Breaking