What would be the impact of the discovery of the Graviton in the world?

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Summary:: <mentor moved to general discussion> I mean of the discovery of the Graviton or of any other unification theory that would explain gravity and would be compatible with quantum mechanics. And by impact I don't necessarily mean just the understanding of the world - this is implicit - but the impact on engineering, transport, economy etc.

We all talk about how amazing it would be to finally elucidate the mystery of this fourth force, however, what would happen if someone finally found it? What would happen next?

Of course, much fuss, and tests, and tests again to confirm the theory (if available), but imagine they all confirm it and the theory is right. Would such a paper be worth publishing? Would it be the right time now? Would such a revolution be for good? I have dynamite in mind. It was first made to help people but something unexpected happened next. What would be the dangers of discovering gravity (or the graviton)?
 
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We can never know until it happens. A discovery of the graviton would validate some stuff and perhaps invalidate other stuff. Maybe it would lead to a mechanism for producing gravitons and from there perhaps A new means of communication or a tractor beam Or more of transportation. One can only imagine.

All just speculative ideas.
 
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DEvens
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In the very near term, probably very little. For example, electro-weak theory is the unification of electromagnetism and weak nuclear. And it has not made much difference since it was published. Some particle physics types have been very happy. But it has not made much difference to our technology. Nor to everyday life.

The issue is one of energy levels. Nearly all of our technology is based on matter and electromagnetic forces. A very tiny bit is nuclear forces. MRI and nuclear reactors and a few other things. But really not much of our tech is in any way affected by energy levels where weak forces unify with electromagnetism. So we can build these devices without ever knowing about electro-weak.

Unifying electric and magnetic fields had impact. That made designing electromagnetic devices a lot easier. And then supported our understanding of atoms and helped a great deal with chemistry. And fairly quickly started to have huge impact on technology, and continues to.

But the regimes in which quantum gravity is expected to be important are very far outside our ordinary experience.

Long term, say at the 100 year or longer time scale, it is very difficult to say. Who would have guessed what lasers have produced? Even after Einstein's first paper on the idea, it was decades before one was built. The energy levels and physical processes are starting to get into cosmic questions. We might learn if there is or is not a way to extract vacuum energy, for example.
 
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epenguin
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When I am in the company of scientists, I feel like a shabby curate who has strayed by mistake into a drawing room full of dukes."

W. H. Auden

For ordinary persons and parsons, can some physicist tell us what it is supposed to be like? I don't suppose you could ever see one. You can't see a neutrino either but you can see you occasionally one has knocked into an atom.
 
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DEvens
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For ordinary persons and parsons, can some physicist tell us what it is supposed to be like? I don't suppose you could ever see one. You can't see a neutrino either but you can see you occasionally one has knocked into an atom.
It's very difficult. As I said in a previous post in this thread, imagine somebody at about 1920 trying to predict what lasers would allow by 2020. The transformation could be that drastic.

For a really wild description, you could try the Robert Heinlein novel "Sixth Column." The idea there is that a guy in an isolated lab has managed to construct devices that allow combining gravity with electromagnetism, or gravity with nuclear forces. This is in a background of a foreign invasion of the USA.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixth_Column

It's *entirely* speculation. But it gives you the flavor of how wild things could get. If we could control gravity by manipulating electronics, then we might well be able to affect an object's weight, along the lines of "tractor beams" from Star Trek. If we could combine electromagnetic and nuclear forces, we might be able to cause nuclear interactions on command. That could mean we could change all the nuclei in a sample of matter to another isotope, along the lines of the fabled "philosopher's stone" of ancient alchemy.

Or, it could be that the energy levels involved are ridiculous. It might be that we can't usefully accomplish any of this stuff with reasonable sized devices. Maybe the smallest possible device to do mass conversion of one isotope to another is a star. Maybe the only way to control gravity is to move mass/energy around along the lines calculated by General Relativity.

Until and unless we get a theory that works to combine these forces, and technology to control it, it's really all very much speculation.
 

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