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The Higgs boson gives particles mass. And the graviton is the theoretical force-carrier of gravity. Gravity depends on mass. So if the Higgs Boson gives things mass, it therefore gives them gravity. Is the Higgs Boson the same thing as a Graviton? Or is there a difference? The only thing I know is that the Higgs Field is something very different from the Gravitational Field. Yet, I'm not satisfied with that fact. I want to know why the Higgs Boson is not the Graviton.


marked as duplicate by Brandon Enright, Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir, jinawee, akhmeteli, Waffle's Crazy Peanut Dec 15 '13 at 14:29

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    $\begingroup$ Ron Maimon's answer to that question is everything the OP needs to read. $\endgroup$ – Michael Brown Feb 19 '13 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ Gravity (the gravitational field is $g_{\mu\nu}$, the metric) does not depend on mass. The EFEs, $$R_{\mu\nu}-\frac{1}{2}Rg_{\mu\nu}=8\pi GT_{\mu\nu}$$ explicitly show that the curvature, which comes from GR, comes from energy-density, and not mass. $\endgroup$ – user28355 Jan 12 '14 at 23:38

You say:

Gravity depends on mass

but this is not so. The source of the gravitational field is an object called the stress-energy tensor. One element of this object is the energy density, and mass contributes to this through Einstein's well known equation $E = mc^2$, but mass is not required to generate a gravitational field. Even massless particles like photons generate a gravitational field.

The Higgs boson, as discovered at the LHC, is a low energy effect of the Higgs field, and it's the Higgs field that is responsible for the mass of the elementary particles. So it's not even correct to say that the Higgs boson gives particles mass.

The graviton is the carrier of the gravitional force if you describe that force by a quantum field theory. Whether gravitons are a useful way to describe quantum gravity is not clear. However, what is clear is that the graviton and Higgs boson are entirely unrelated.

  • $\begingroup$ "mass is not required to generate a gravitational field". What is mass then? What commonplace effect depends on mass but not a gravitational field? $\endgroup$ – daniel.sedlacek Jun 5 '18 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ EDIT: I thought mass defines momentum, but then even photon has momentum - it can be used to push light sail, right? $\endgroup$ – daniel.sedlacek Jun 5 '18 at 13:16

You basically answered your own question: Mass is the source of gravity. The Higgs particle plays a role in creating this source, while the graviton plays a role in explaining the mechanism of gravity (but not what causes it to be there in the first place).


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