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Energy release from Graviton / Higgs Boson

  1. Dec 27, 2011 #1
    With so much coverage in the press over the seemingly imminent discovery of the Higgs particle, there's one question that never seems to get raised - which more than likely means I've missed something fundamentally simple; so this may be a very short thread!!

    Higgs Boson / Graviton - it may be massless, chargeless, spin 2 or whatever... but the fact that it is expected to be "something" as opposed to a theoretical concept must mean it has energy (at least that's the premise I'm starting at...)

    So if I'm producing these energy sapping particles that go off an interact with other massive bodies to produce the effect we call gravity; why aren't I decaying in some way? If, for example, I was in an outflung reach of space where my production of gravitons far exceeded my receipt of gravitons from other bodies; surely I would decay even faster?

    Go easy on me... my head hurts and I'm looking for answers - not suggesting a new theory of quantum decay :-)

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 27, 2011 #2
    I'm thinking that we radiate matter all day every day anyway...which is why we have odors, sweat, and so forth.

    A few sub atomic particles radiated here and there are probably replaced by a hamburger here and there, so you should have a Higgs Boson decay rate that is most likely quite survivable.
  4. Dec 27, 2011 #3
    Having consumed my own weight in Xmas dinners over the last week I would find that most welcome! However, my question relates more to a generic massive object. As far as I'm aware (which may not be far), there's no theory that suggest a massive object will decay over time due to the loss of gravitons.
  5. Dec 27, 2011 #4
    I might ask where the massive object got its gravitons in the first place then....

    As it obviously was able to accumulate mass faster than the decay rate...or it would have never become massive, etc.

    If I were a graviton, frankly, I think I'd be attracted to mass.

    I think most large objects, such as earth, etc...accumulate dust and radiation of various sorts and so forth from space...

    The particles with mass would of course contain gravitons as well.
  6. Dec 29, 2011 #5
    Thanks for your thought Tea Jay, but I'm hoping to get a definitive reply

    Can anyone out there enlighten me?
  7. Dec 29, 2011 #6


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    Because you do not "emit" gravitons. I know you've been told this - it's become a staple for popular science writers struggling to describe a fundamentally quantum situation in classical terms. But it leads to obvious questions like the one you've posed that have no validity. (Also, how many do you emit, how often, etc)

    With the caveat that gravitons have not yet been detected and remain hypothetical, you are surrounded by a time-independent cloud of virtual gravitons. They are neither being emitted or absorbed, they just sit there and form your gravitational field.

    The only things that emit gravitons are like the binary pulsar PSR B1913+16, which loses energy due to the gravitational radiation it produces. What's necessary to do this is a strong, asymmetric time-varying gravitational field.
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