Varying the shape of the Higgs potential. The graphs below illustrate the Higgs potential, or the energy cost, associated with sustaining various field values ($\phi$). The universe is stable when it takes on field values that minimize the energy cost. At and above the critical temperature, the Higgs potential is minimized at the center, where $\phi$ = 0 GeV. However, below the critical temperature, the Higgs potential is minimized away from the center and achieves its characteristic conical shape. Drag the sliders to see how the shape of the Higgs potential changes at temperatures above and below the critical value and where different values of $\phi$ fall on both the 2-D and 3-D graphs. You can click on and drag the graph on the right to rotate it in three dimensions.
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