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Publication# Hilbert series, the Higgs mechanism, and HEFT

Abstract

We expand Hilbert series technologies in effective field theory for the inclusion of massive particles, enabling, among other things, the enumeration of operator bases for non-linearly realized gauge theories. We find that the Higgs mechanism is manifest at the level of the Hilbert series, as expected for the partition function of an S-matrix that is subject to the Goldstone equivalence theorem. In addition to massive vectors, we detail how other massive, spinning particles can be studied with Hilbert series; in particular, we spell out the ingredients for massive gravity in general spacetime dimensions. Further methodology is introduced to enable Hilbert series to capture the effect of spurion fields acquiring vevs. We apply the techniques to the Higgs Effective Field Theory (HEFT), providing a systematic enumeration of its operator basis. This is achieved both from a direct and a custodial symmetry spurion-based approach; we compare and contrast the two approaches, and our results to those appearing in previous literature.

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Quantum field theory

In theoretical physics, quantum field theory (QFT) is a theoretical framework that combines classical field theory, special relativity, and quantum mechanics. QFT is used in particle physics to construct physical models of subatomic particles and in condensed matter physics to construct models of quasiparticles. QFT treats particles as excited states (also called quanta) of their underlying quantum fields, which are more fundamental than the particles.

Subatomic particle

In physics, a subatomic particle is a particle smaller than an atom. According to the Standard Model of particle physics, a subatomic particle can be either a composite particle, which is composed of other particles (for example, a proton, neutron, or meson), or an elementary particle, which is not composed of other particles (for example, an electron, photon, or muon). Particle physics and nuclear physics study these particles and how they interact.

Higgs boson

The Higgs boson, sometimes called the Higgs particle, is an elementary particle in the Standard Model of particle physics produced by the quantum excitation of the Higgs field, one of the fields in particle physics theory. In the Standard Model, the Higgs particle is a massive scalar boson with zero spin, even (positive) parity, no electric charge, and no colour charge that couples to (interacts with) mass. It is also very unstable, decaying into other particles almost immediately upon generation.

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