Goebel, Charles J. Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.
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A theoretically deduced particle postulated as the quantum of the gravitational field. According to Einstein's theory of general relativity, accelerated masses (or other distributions of energy) should emit gravitational waves, just as accelerated charges emit electromagnetic waves. And according to quantum field theory, such a radiation field should be quantized; that is, its energy should appear in discrete quanta, called gravitons, just as the energy of light appears in discrete quanta, namely photons. See also: Photon; Quantum field theory; Relativity
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