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X-rays - Gama Rays - Gravity?


Caleb
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I was talking with my dad the other day who has a Masters degree in astrophysics. We got talking about light particles and gravitons. My dad said that it is interesting that as a light photon's wavelength gets shorter, it starts to resemble matter. So I thought that if you could possibly give a photon enough energy (like the big bang) could you transform it into matter?

 

My second theory. If the concept of the graviton is correct, I thought of a gravitons as very tiny ropes that extend from a piece of matter, and as soon as a graviton found another piece of matter, then the "ropes" would pull them closer together. But my dad asked how would these "ropes" know where to find matter? wouldn't the ropes just bypass some matter as they spread out? So this is probably evidence that gravity acts like a wave, or a field. So if gravity is both a wave and a particle. (Assuming it is) couldn't gravity be a higher form of light? :confused:

 

Please correct me if I am wrong.

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1) A photon will not transform into something else when the energy is increased. A photon plus something else (say an atomic nucleus) can in principle transform into something else (in this case the same atomic nucleus plus an electron plus a positron, the process is called "pair production"). I dunno what you father could have meant with a high-energy photon resembling matter.

 

2) I don't like this "both, a particle and a wave" stuff, but let's assume that statement was ok: A graviton and a photon both fall into this category. So do electrons and neutrinos. Two objects falling into the same category certainly is necessary for them to be considered the same. But not any two objects falling into the same category must be considered the same objects (a bus is not the same as a plane even though both fall into the "transporting passengers" category). A graviton is not considered a photon in theory; the mere existence of gravitons hasn't even been confirmed in practice. A "higher form of light" sounds a bit too spiritual for me, anyways.

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A very liberal interpretation would be that high-energy photons are more likely to exhibit the particle properties, and low energy photons behave more classically, i.e. like waves. But the lesson of QM is that everything has a wave-like nature, so the distinction of localized interaction being equated with matter isn't really solid.

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1) I dunno what you father could have meant with a high-energy photon resembling matter.

 

I just asked him, and he said I got that mixed up and that matter when going close to the speed of light will start to resemble radiation. He said its called matter waves.

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I just asked him, and he said I got that mixed up and that matter when going close to the speed of light will start to resemble radiation. He said its called matter waves.

 

It's actually the opposite. Matter will exhibit wave properties and this is more noticeable as its momentum is reduced, i.e. when it is moving slowly, e.g. in a Bose-Einstein condensate.

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(...)

My second theory. If the concept of the graviton is correct, I thought of a gravitons as very tiny ropes that extend from a piece of matter, and as soon as a graviton found another piece of matter, then the "ropes" would pull them closer together. (...)

 

Gravity don't act as ropes.

Think of the rope as a rubber band. When you tight 2 objects, and then try to separate them, the more you pull, the more the distance increases, the more the strength of the rubber will increase. At some point, the rubber band will crack.

With gravity, the more you pull, the more the distance increases, and the strength of gravity will decrease.. Gravity never cracks.

Also, Electromagnetic (EM) interaction is based upon the opposite charge principle: a positive charge attracts a negative one, and identical charges repel. With gravity, there is no indication of the same principle: every particle attracts the other, as if they were all of opposite charge (which makes no sense).

If gravitons were to exist, they should be particles sent from a body in order to attract. In usual life, when you send something to another body,sending a bullet to your neighbour, you give impulse to the bullet, and your neighbour will be propulsed away from you. Not attracted.

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