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Author Topic: May gravitons be like phonons?  (Read 2910 times)

Offline Supercryptid

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May gravitons be like phonons?
« on: 15/02/2011 04:26:55 »
I had a random thought the other day. What if the graviton isn't a fundamental particle in the same sense that the photon is? What if it is a quasiparticle? In an analogy, could it be that the graviton is a type of quasiparticle that travels as a kind of vibration in space-time in the way that the phonon is a type of quasiparticle that travels as a kind of vibration through a crystal lattice?

Perhaps one of the reasons that scientists are having trouble unifying gravity with quantum physics is because they are trying to describe it in terms of a fundamental particle instead of a quasiparticle? Would this idea be compatible with Relativity?

Just a half-baked idea.
« Last Edit: 15/02/2011 04:28:38 by Supercryptid »


 

Offline imatfaal

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May gravitons be like phonons?
« Reply #1 on: 15/02/2011 11:48:04 »
the need for the graviton is to complete the group of gauge bosons that mediate the forces (photon, gluon, W&Z bosons).  Quantum Field theory describes these particles as the quanta of the gauge fields (EM, strong and weak) - you just do not get the same maths by using a quasi-particle; so your ideas might have good basis, but this would show a fundamental difference between gravity and the other three forces.  It cannot really solve the question - apart from by showing the question is meaningless
 

Offline graham.d

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May gravitons be like phonons?
« Reply #2 on: 16/02/2011 12:17:39 »
Not so half-baked supercryptid. There are some analogies between gravitons and phonons and this analogy has been pursued as a way of trying to get an understanding of quantum gravity besides the nearly impossible-to-fathom maths. There are quite a few papers on the subject if you search with Google.
 

Offline JP

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May gravitons be like phonons?
« Reply #3 on: 16/02/2011 14:26:39 »
To build on Matthew's response, gravitons and other fundamental particles are excitations of an apparently fundamental field in the universe, gravity.  In the case of a phonon, the crystal lattice behaves like a field, but obviously isn't physically a fundamental field.  If the graviton were a quasi-particle, we'd have to seriously rethink a lot of what we know about gravity, since it would have to be, for lack of a better word, a quasi-field.
 

Offline Phractality

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May gravitons be like phonons?
« Reply #4 on: 23/02/2011 02:34:50 »
You might enjoy studying the Fatio/Lesage model of gravity. About 300 years ago, they postulated a perfect gas of ultra-numerous, ultra-small, ultra-fast elastic particles, which they called gravitons. Their basic concept was that gravitons bounce off of masses like perfectly elastic billiard balls, and pairs of masses shade one another from the background of gravitons. Consequently, the masses are pushed toward one another. This model suffers from two main falacies. First, random scattering does not shade masses from one another for the same reason that two mirror spheres hanging in an all white room will be invisible to one another. This problem was answered by VanFlandern, who said some fraction of the gravitons are absorbed by the masses and their energy is somehow dissipated by the "elyseum" (light carrying medium). The second falacy is the amount of energy that must be dissipated; it is equivalent to the mass absorbing and dissipating its own energy equivalent ever femtosecond or so. Slabinski calculated that, for every graviton that is absorbed, at least 10^20 would have to be scattered.

Discussing the Fatio/Lesage model at VanFlandern's website got me started. (Since VanFlandern's death, two years ago, the site has gone to the dogs.) I eventually hatched my own model. Instead of a gas of elastic particles, I see gravitons as ethereal pressure waves, i.e. dark energy. Particles are made of waves in a medium of particles made of waves, etc.

In my model, all the forces result from exchange of momentum between regular energy and dark energy. There is no distinction between gravitons and the waves that transmit the electroweak force and the strong force.
« Last Edit: 23/02/2011 03:43:21 by Phractality »
 

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May gravitons be like phonons?
« Reply #4 on: 23/02/2011 02:34:50 »

 

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