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Differentiation between massless Bosons

  1. Jul 30, 2014 #1
    Three Bosons: the Photon, the Gluon, and the Graviton are all massless Bosons; they all travel at the speed of light and therefore have no interaction with the Higgs field. How is it possible to differentiate between these three particles being that the Photon is a Majorana Fermion and therefore can spin in any direction without changing state and therefore the Gluon and the Graviton could not be corresponding particles to it. Does it have to do with the energy levels of the three particles due to the fact that these particles have no mass and therefore their energy is not based off of mass? Or does it have to do with the color of the three particles?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2014 #2
    Probably the most important distinction between photons, gluons, and gravitons is how they interact with other particles. Photons interact with particles that have electric charge, such as electrons and quarks. Gluons interact with particles that have "color charge," namely quarks and other gluons. Gravitons interact with anything that has energy (i.e., all other particles, including gravitons).
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  4. Jul 30, 2014 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    No, it isn't. It's a boson, with spin 1. The gluon has spin 1 (but different interactions from a photon, as The_Duck noted). The graviton has spin 2.

    This is really a separate issue from the main question in this thread, but that's not what a Majorana Fermion is; a Majorana fermion is a fermion that is its own antiparticle (the photon is its own antiparticle, but as already noted, it's a boson, not a fermion). There's no such thing as a fermion (or a boson, for that matter) that has nonzero spin but "can spin in any direction without changing state". A spin eigenstate in a given direction is different from a spin eigenstate in any other direction; and the only way any state can be rotationally invariant (i.e., be "the same in any direction") is to have zero spin.
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