What is the relationship of the Higgs boson to a graviton?


Thanks for your help,

Short answer: none, really. It’s true that the Higgs field “gives particles mass”, which may be what’s confusing you; and particles with mass/energy cause spacetime to curve. The “ripples” in this curvature are what we call gravitational waves (and, if we ever manage to find a quantum theory of gravity, we might be able to describe as particles called gravitons.) However, the Higgs field is not the same as the gravitational field; they have different mathematical properties (scalar vs. tensor, if that means anything to you), and spacetime also bends in response to particles that don’t couple to the Higgs (i.e., photons, W/Z bosons, and gluons).

This is according to wikipedia so take it for what it’s worth. It states that the Higgs boson is the only particle described by the standard model not yet observed. It also shows a chart listing the graviton as not yet observed. Is this an error?


The graviton is not part of the Standard Model.


To expand slightly on that, the answer to almost any question involving gravitons is going to be “I don’t know”. Gravitons, if they exist, are a feature of quantum gravity theories, and we only have the barest hints of an inkling what quantum gravity is like. To list all of what is known (or at least, strongly suspected) about gravitons:

They’re spin 2.
They’re massless.
They propagate at c.
They couple to everything.

That’s it. If you have any question involving gravitons, and the answer isn’t one of those four statements, then we don’t know the answer.

I refer to this. Is that inaccurate?


I don’t see any inaccuracies, aside from putting the graviton on a poster labelled “Standard Model”. But what precisely constitute the boundaries of the Standard Model are not unambiguously defined. Some might, for instance, consider the Higgs to be an extension to the Standard Model. Some might expand the definition of the Standard Model to include all particles reasonably hypothesized to exist. In any event, it doesn’t really matter what terminology you use: The factual point is that neither the Higgs nor the graviton has been directly observed (and the graviton will probably never be directly observed, but that’s a different matter).