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Doesn't every particle distort space-time?

  1. May 5, 2004 #1
    Since every particle from photon to proton delivers energy when it interacts, then doesn't this energy distort space-time by its energy?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 6, 2004 #2
    Photons don't have mass, so wouldn't it be that have an average distortion of zero?
  4. May 6, 2004 #3
    The only way a proton could distort spacetime would be indirectly. It would have to hit another particle, giving it energy, and then that particle would distort spacetime (more than it had before)
  5. May 6, 2004 #4


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    Photons do (theoretically)cause curvature in spacetime, so every particle does cause curvature in spacetime, in theory at least.
  6. May 6, 2004 #5
    Would we say that at any instant the net total curvature of a boson/photon would have to average to zero as seen from a distance so that it is not considered to have mass? Would this mean if the photon shrinked space at some points, then it would have to stretch space at other points so that the average is zero? Or does energy only curve space-time in one direction of more curvature?

    Is there a clue between the type of curvature produced by bosons and fermions that might lead to a better understanding of supersymmetry?

  7. May 6, 2004 #6


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    No, the main problem I see is for a photon your dealing with a curvature so small as to be insignificant, but by general relstavity non-zero. I really don't think you can say that a space has an average curvature of zero, unless that space is Euclidian (i.e. has a curvature of zero), which certainly is not the case in GR for a space containing anything with inertial mass.

    In general relativity the curvature is only dependnet on one thing: the inertial mass of the particle so it matters not one iota whether the particle is a fermion or a boson.
  8. May 7, 2004 #7
    What is the "inertial mass" of a photon/boson?

    I'm trying to distinguish the space-time distortions associated with bosons as opposed to fermions. We've already admitted that there must be a distortion associated with bosons since they have energy that they carry from one place to another. If all forms of particles have space-time distortions associated with them because they all are various manifestations of energy, then perhaps the various fields can be reformulated in terms of these kinds of space-time distortions. Even in string theory, the strings go through various modes of vibration. I believe this means that the waves that travel on the string represent peaks and valleys of higher and lower energy density along the string and therefore waves consisting of higher and lower space-time distortions associated with them. We are trying to unify the other force fields with gravity, aren't we? And gravity is represented as space-time distortions. So I think this is a natural question to ask.
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