Classical Higgs mechanism in plasma


It is demonstrated that in high temperature collisionless plasmas the propagation of high-frequency electromagnetic waves is naturally subject to a classical Higgs mechanism which in some cases generates a very small though finite mass on the otherwise massless photons. Though this has no further obvious consequence for any plasma processes, it is very satisfactory because it explains the retardation and cut-off of electromagnetic waves when encountering plasmas. Interestingly, low frequency electromagnetic plasma waves (Alfvén waves and whistlers) remain carried by confined massless photons. These just experience the increase in the dielectric constant provided by the plasma in the low frequency range below the cyclotron frequency.

Further Information
  author = {Treumann, R. A. and Baumjohann, W.},
  journal = {arXiv:1804.03463 [physics.plasm-ph]},
  language = {en},
  note = {5 pages, no figures. Discussion paper},
  pages = {1-5},
  title = {Classical Higgs mechanism in plasma},
  url = {},
  year = {2018},
%O Journal Article
%A Treumann, R. A.
%A Baumjohann, W.
%J arXiv:1804.03463 [physics.plasm-ph]
%G en
%O 5 pages, no figures. Discussion paper
%P 1-5
%T Classical Higgs mechanism in plasma
%D 2018