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What's wrong with gravitons?

  1. Jan 28, 2008 #1
    I just read this:


    I'm just wondering what those who are more knowledgeable about this stuff think of it. My guess is the arguments are invalid otherwise people wouldn't bother studying string theory...

    Do gravitons interact with themselves, as gluons do? If not, is that why gravitons are able to escape a black hole's event horizon and influence the rest of the universe?

    What about when he says that any massive body must emit an infinite amount of energy in gravitons - is that just plain wrong or what?
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  3. Jan 28, 2008 #2


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    The problem I see is that he has confused "gravitons", the quanta of gravitational raditation (gravity waves) with "virtual gravitons", the mediators of the the gravitational field.

    He also sounds like someone very full of himself. I mean, really, his arguments are so simple and basic, that if they were valid, science would have abandoned the idea of gravitons long ago. So basically it comes off as "Look how more clever I am than all these scientists".
  4. Feb 16, 2008 #3
    This is an unsound argument; be careful with this kind of thing. In 1904 one might have asserted that the speed of light cannot be constant on similar grounds: It's so simple, if it were the case, science would have figured it out a long time ago. Of course, one would have been wrong.
  5. Feb 16, 2008 #4


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    But have you read the article? It's complete nonsense. It's clearly written by someone who has no background in particle physics or field theory. And who pretends knwoing what he is talking about.

    Just a few points... he says that the concept of graviton was invented to "plug a hole in the standard model". That's nonsense since the standard model does not address gravitation. Then he seems to say that gravitons are a prediction of string theory alone. The idea of gravitons as the quanta of a quantized theory of GR is much older than string theory, obviosuly.

    Then he says that the idea does not make sense because a black hole would be emitting an infinite number of gravitons or some other mumbo-jumbo like this. He does not understand that a charge particle in ordinary QED produces a background electromagnetic field and that if his reasoning was correct, such a charge particle would be emitting infinite amounts of photons and the concept fo photons would not make sense.

    It's complete nonsense and comes clearly from someone who has no background in particle physics. And who talks as if he understood the subject. So I agree 100% with Janus
  6. Feb 16, 2008 #5
    Yes. You have just given a sound argument why the author's views should be rejected. You have used valid rules of logical inference to derive results from true premises. Compare that with Janus's reply, which was to assert that the author is wrong because, if his views were right, they would have been advanced previously. That kind of "argument" is both absurd on its face (the infinite regress is glaring) and well-known fallacious reasoning.
  7. Feb 17, 2008 #6


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    I'm sorry but this is not the same thing at all. For one, while the invariance of the spped of light was a simple idea to express, it was far from an obvious conclusion and not an easily accepted one. Besides that, all the pieces of the puzzle that had to be assembled in order to come to that conclusion hadn't even been uncovered much before Einstein developed Relativity.

    On the other hand the types of arguments posed in this article are the kind that, if valid, would have any scientisit slapping his forehead and going "DOh!"

    Take the "gravitions can't escape a black hole argument. Do you really think that no-one would have thought of that? Heck, I've lost count of how many times I've run across that argument/question on the internet over the years.

    It's on a par with the argument that the Moon landing were faked because there are no stars in any of the Moon photos. A lot of that argument rests on the assumption that a lot of very smart people missed something so glaringly obvious. I mean really, you're going to go to all the trouble to fake a moon mission, but you're not going make sure that there are stars in photos that should have star? Let alone the countless international scientists who looked at thesed photo and also seemed to miss that there should have been stars?(including Soviet scientists that would have loved to expose the US Moon landings as fake.)

    Its also on par with the opinion printed by a newpaper that the idea of using rockets for space propulsion (as was being proposed by scientists at the time) was impossible because space was a vacuum and the rocketr wouldn't have anything to push against.

    Not only is this based on a fundemental mis-understanding of how rockets work, it also plays on the idea that the scientisits are too stupid to figure this out.
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