The Science of Existence (44-2-8) The Hierarchy Problem

   The Hierarchy Problem

There have been numerous approaches to calculating the observed spectrum of particle masses from theory, but they have not been successful. ~ English theoretical physicist Paul Wesson

The Standard Model having nothing to say about what the mass of the Higgs bosom should be is just one facet of what is called the hierarchy problem. Higgs’ mass is not the only problem. The masses of all fundamental particles are 100 quadrillion times less than they should be.

A hierarchy problem arises when the fundamental value of a physical parameter, such as mass or a coupling constant (such as the cosmological constant) is vastly different from its effective (measured) value. When it has arisen, this problem has repeatedly been whitewashed using a mathematical adjustment technique called renormalization.

All hierarchy problems grapple with relations to matter (such as mass), which is understandable when you consider that all of physics is concerned with explaining how matter behaves. Since matter is all that is observable, it remains the starting and end point of all physics models. All the transformations in between involve energy.

The most poignant hierarchy problem in theoretical physics is the enormous discrepancy between the weak force and gravity. There is no consensus as to why the atomic weak force is 1024 times stronger than gravity.