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What is the differnace between a photon and a graviton?
- nick (age 16))
sixth form college, uk
You've probably heard of the idea that everything that is a
particle is also a wave and vice versa. Well, a photon is the
particle/wave that carries the electromagnetic force. We know that
photons exist because scientists have been able to set up experiments
that let them detect each individual photon and measure how many and
where they are.
Gravitons are the particle/wave that carry the gravitational force.
(Like photons, except for gravity, not light.) However, gravitons are
just a theory. We figure that they must exist and that they probably
work a lot like photons. But so far, no one has been able to set up an
experiment that can "see" gravitons. That is, we haven't been able to
build something that lets us detect gravitons (although people are
trying...see the link in your other gravity questions answer).
On the technical side, it is believed that gravitons have a spin of two, where as photons have a spin of one.
(published on 10/22/2007)
Follow-up on this answer.