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I don’t know too much about this stuff so my questions may be non-sensical, but here goes: As I understand it, electrons consist mostly of energy and the top quark mostly of mass. Do these particles only "acquire" their mass i.e. Higgs Bosons, when they pass through the Higgs field? What properties do they possess before they pass through the Higgs field? Why does the top quark "gain" more mass as it passes through than the electron for instance? Do protons, electrons and neutrons exist on their own or do they only exist in the nucleus of an atom? What I am asking is: can a proton or neutron pass through the Higgs field and acquire mass, or is this the theory of how they DO acquire mass? Do they not have mass before they go through the HF? Are the protons that are found in the nucleus of an oxygen atom the same as the protons found in the nucleus of a carbon atom, for instance? I seem to recall that it is the number of protons, neutrons and electrons that give an atom its atomic mass and determine what element it is? Is it this "atomic mass" that is referred to when scientists speak of the mass of a particle? So many questions.....

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