Abstract:
In this thesis, I discuss the Brans-Dicke theory of gravitation, the Higgs mechanism, and the relevance of these two theories to the bridging of cosmology and particle physics. Although the former theory is in the field of cosmology while the latter is in particle physics, their similarities are impressive. Both attempt to understand the origins of mass. Even more striking is the mathematics involved in each of these theories. The Brans-Dicke theory and the Higgs mechanism both introduce a new scalar field that is coupled to matter in the universe. Although these theories were formulated around the same time in the early 1960s, are so similar in motivation and method, and became quite popular in their own respective fields, they remained relatively unknown outside of their field for quite some time. In this thesis, I have summarized both the Brans-Dicke theory and the Higgs mechanism. Then, I have analyzed the number of articles citing the Brans-Dicke and Higgs papers to understand when particle physics and cosmology first began integrating. To extend this further, I have looked at how many articles in 1961, 1971, 1981, and 1991 can be categorized as both particle physics and cosmology. In conclusion, we see that the two fields were slow to build common ground, although this has improved since the 1980s. By the 1990s, collaboration between particle physics and cosmology had greatly increased, most likely because of attempts to unify gravity with the other three forces.

Description:
Thesis (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Physics, 2004.; Includes bibliographical references (p. 59).