Higgs Bosons vs Gravitons

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Offline Dick1038

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Higgs Bosons vs Gravitons
« on: 17/11/2007 01:39:43 »
I saw on TV's "Wired Science" program that next year, or so, the CERN facility will conduct an experiment to verify the existence of Higgs bosons, particles which purportedly give other particles mass.  Well, the presence of mass creates a gravitational field, but the graviton is supposed to mediate gravity.  So, are gravitons and Higgs bosons related?


Offline JP

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Higgs Bosons vs Gravitons
« Reply #1 on: 18/11/2007 22:26:34 »
The gravitational field is a field that explains why objects with gravitational mass can exert forces on other objects with gravitational mass.  Since it's a field, in quantum mechanics there's a minimum excitation of the field, which is the graviton.

The Higgs field is a proposed field that explains why the fundamental particles all have different inertial masses.  These are the masses that appear in E=mc^2.  According to this theory, the particles will interact with some omnipresent Higgs field more (or less) strongly than other particles, and therefore have more (or less) mass.  Again, since it's a field, there's a minimum excitation, which is the Higgs boson. 

So these particles arise from two different phenomena: one is a field explaining how particles can exert gravitational forces on each other, and the other is a field explaining how particles get mass to begin with. 

Now, I've been careful to say "gravitational mass" and "inertial mass."  There's no theoretical reason why the two have to be the same: in other words, the Higgs-field masses don't have to be the same as the masses that interact with gravity.  However, in all experiments to date, they do seem to be the same.  This seems to suggest there's a relation between the Higgs field and the gravitational field, but I don't know the theories.