Higgs field and aether
Dr Peter Higgs suggested in the early 1960s that the spacetime fabric is a kind of ideal non-viscous fluid, causing mass. By non-viscous, I mean it causes no continuous drag, just an opposition to acceleration (inertia) and deceleration (momentum). [It works a bit like Aristotle's arrow in air as described in his book Physics (350 BC), where he confuses an arrow for a fundamental particle, and air for the spacetime fabric. The spacetime fabric pushed out of the way by the particle pushes in again behind it, returning the energy it has taken, and keeping it in motion!] It is vital for the Standard Model, since it is the mechanism for every piece of mass in the universe.
Quantoken, renowned expert on everything, has pointed out that Einstein's principle of equivalence between inertial and gravitational mass in general relativity tends to suggest that if gravitons (spin 2 bosons) are responsible for gravity, they must also be responsible for inertial mass. Why not just have the Higgs field?
The Higgs field is vital to explain the massiveness (80 GeV) of the Z and W particles that carry electroweak force interactions. The electroweak theory comes from independent work in 1967 by Steven Weinberg and Abdus Salam. The high mass-energy of the Z and W particles is due to their short range. They were both discovered experimentally at CERN in 1983.
I want to have a second shot at deriving the strong nuclear force law. Heisenberg's uncertainty (based on impossible gamma ray microscope thought experiment): pd = h/(2.Pi), where p is uncertainty in momentum and d is uncertainty in distance. The product pd is physically equivalent to Et, where E is uncertainty in energy and t is uncertainty in time. Since, for light speed, d = ct, we obtain: d = hc/(2.Pi.E). This is the formula the experts generally use to relate the range of the force, d, to the energy of the gauge boson, E.
Notice that both d and E are really uncertainties in distance and energy, rather than real distance and energy, but the formula works for real distance and energy, because we are dealing with a definite ratio between the two. Hence for 80 GeV mass-energy W and Z intermediate vector bosons, the force range is on the order of 10^-17 m.
Since the formula d = hc/(2.Pi.E) therefore works for d and E as realities, we can introduce work energy as E = Fd, which gives us the strong nuclear force law: F = hc/(2.Pi.d^2). The range of this force is of course d = hc/(2.Pi.E) .
When we compare F = hc/(2.Pi.d^2) to coulomb's law of electromagnetism, we see it is 137 times stronger. What is occurring physically is a shielding by the polarised spacetime fabric around the core of a fundamental particle, so the core force is filtered and attenuated by 137 times as seen from a great distance.
The strong nuclear force is supposed to be carried by pions, as predicted by Yukawa around 1935. In this sense, 'strong nuclear force' refers to the force keeping the protons confined to the nucleus without the nucleus exploding by electrostatic repulsion.
However, with the development of quark theory, the confinement of triads of quarks led to the suggestion of a more elaborate strong nuclear force theory, called quantum chromodynamics, in which confined quarks each have a different colour charge (red, green, and blue, for example), making the whole baryon (neutron or proton) colourless. These forces are supposed to be mediated by 'gluons'. It might sound weird, but colour charges just don't excite me much. Can't we unify forces without having colour charge? Which of the two otherwise identical upquarks in a proton has which colour charge? This just seems very artificial, very ad hoc to me! I know it works, but so did Ptolemy's ancient cosmology with its epicycles...