nLab
graviton

Context

Gravity

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Formalism

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Definition

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Spacetime configurations

Properties

Spacetimes

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Quantum theory

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Physics

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Surveys, textbooks and lecture notes

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Fields and quanta

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Exotica

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Contents

Idea

The graviton is the (hypothetical) quantum of the field of gravity, i.e., the quanta of the theory of quantum gravity.

Details

In first-order formulation of gravity a field configuration is locally a Lie algebra-valued form

(E,Ω):TX𝔦𝔰𝔬(d) (E, \Omega) : T X \to \mathfrak{iso}(d)

with values in the Poincare Lie algebra.

This is a vielbein EE and a spin connection Ω\Omega. This together is the graviton field.

A graviton has spin 22, and is massless. We can see that it has spin 22 from the fact that the source of gravity is TT, the energy-momentum tensor, which is a second-rank tensor. It can be shown that a massless spin-22 particle has to be a graviton. The basic concept behind this is that massless particles have to couple to conserved currents - the stress-energy tensor TT, the source of gravity.

In supergravity this is accompanied by the gravitino.

Last revised on May 24, 2014 at 05:14:56. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.