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Matter that curves space-time

  1. Apr 14, 2004 #1
    Hello all,

    I seem to be misunderstanding a concept; perhaps someone could point me in the right direction. My knowledge of physics is very basic so please have some sympathy. Thanks

    General relativity shows that gravity is caused by the presence of matter that curves space-time. But now I read of gravity having a particle called the graviton. How do these two ideas link?
     
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  3. Apr 14, 2004 #2

    Integral

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    They don't. Since the graviton is a assumption of Quantum gravity it is not tied to GR by a verified theory. Much work is being done to attempt to detect a graviton as this would go along ways toward verifying Quantum Gravity.
     
  4. Apr 14, 2004 #3
    So if they find the graviton it would mean that General relativity is wrong?
     
  5. Apr 14, 2004 #4

    Integral

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    No, It would mean that we are closer to being able to tie Quantum Mechanics and GR together. What ever theory evolves will have to agree with the successful predictions of GR. Just like SR extended rather then replaced Newtonian Mechanics.
     
  6. Apr 14, 2004 #5

    Kurdt

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    The success of a theory does not need to have any tie to a physical reality. It helps in visualising the effects if it does but if you have some way of determining a property such as gravity and it works then there is no reason to dismiss it because there is no physical reality. Wave particle duality is a good example. Sometimes it is good to model an electron as a particle such as in mechanics and other times like atomic physics it is best to model it as a wave function.
     
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