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Is it possible that gravitons also orbit nucleons like electrons do?

  1. Dec 24, 2006 #1
    Is it possible that gravitons also orbit nucleons like electrons do? I know this is speculative grounds, but are there any scientific principles that come to mind that could fallsify this question?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 24, 2006 #2
    Does this speculation produce any (testable) predictions?
  4. Dec 25, 2006 #3


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    Gravitons carry no charge, so they can't act like electrons. The gravitational attraction of a nucleus is immeasurably small.
  5. Dec 26, 2006 #4


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    I have read that the gravitons are closed strings with extremely little vibration, meaning that they won't connect to any other particles, and are free to "float" around in mass.
  6. Dec 26, 2006 #5


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    String theory has a long way to go before it can be considered as real physics. Gravitons are hypothetical, so it is difficult to describe them in detail. In general, they go at the speed of light and are the carriers of gravity - it is hard to say anything more. The only force they may respond to is gravity itself.
  7. Dec 26, 2006 #6
    I suppose that this is as good as any place to post the following question:

    From a theoretical standpoint, how do gravitons cause space time to warp? I understand them carrying force, like any other messenger particle, at the quantum level, but I can't see how that causes the spatial fabric to warp and bend as suggested by GTR.

    Don't mean to get off on a tangent, just terribly curious.
  8. Dec 27, 2006 #7
    I don't think that is answerable
  9. Dec 27, 2006 #8


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    General relativity is not a quantum theory - gravitons are not mentioned. However, physicists believe that a unified (quantum plur GR) theory will have gravitons as the force carrier. Until there is a unified theory, prosellis' question will be hard to answer.
  10. Dec 28, 2006 #9
    I was going more the other way with the question. I had assumed, falsely it seems, that theories that modeled gravity on a quantum level would be concerned with addressing the geometries that general relativity describes on macroscopic scales.
  11. Dec 28, 2006 #10
    What your addressing is the fundamental separation between what many (I included) feel are incompatible theories.
    GR uses warps or curves in 4D to completely account for gravity, NO Gravitons.
    QM, Standard Model, etc, use particle exchanges to account for forces including gravity. Hence Gravitons and maybe Higgs particles must be real and implies no need for warps to account for gravity.

    As the two theories stand I don’t see how they can be combined, at least not until someone actual does it.
  12. Dec 28, 2006 #11
    I see now! Thank you Randall.
    I was under the impression that the goal was to develop a theory that incorporated both. I knew that relativity didn't use gravitons, but I didn't know that QT didn't require the geometry of GTR at all. That clarifies a great deal.

    Come to think of it, now I have a lot more questions, but I'll save them for another thread.

  13. Jan 17, 2007 #12
    I have readthat they are open strings and are free to move between dimensions. That is why gravity is such a weak force.
  14. Jan 17, 2007 #13
    Yes. That's also part of GUT and extends to all 4 forces. The theory predicts that all 4 forces are really just 1 force that propogates through our Universe. Our Universe is theorized to have several tiny curled up dimensions. The 1 force permeates these tiny curled up dimensions to varying degrees, thus we see 1 force split into 4. Gravity, being the weakest of the 4 force, radiates and leaks most of its energy into other dimensions. The Strong force, being the strongest of the 4 forces we've observed, radiates much less energy into other dimensions, or so the theory goes.

    Does anyone know if Dr. Perleman's solution to the Pointcare Conjecture will help String theorists with Topological problems like Calabi-Yau spaces, or does it not apply? Thanks.
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