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Twisting of light around rotating black holes
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division.
2011 (English)In: Nature Physics, ISSN 1745-2473, E-ISSN 1745-2481, Vol. 7, no 3, 195-197 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Kerr black holes are among the most intriguing predictions of Einstein's general relativity theory(1,2). These rotating massive astrophysical objects drag and intermix their surrounding space and time, deflecting and phase-modifying light emitted near them. We have found that this leads to a new relativistic effect that imprints orbital angular momentum on such light. Numerical experiments, based on the integration of the null geodesic equations of light from orbiting point-like sources in the Kerr black hole equatorial plane to an asymptotic observer(3), indeed identify the phase change and wavefront warping and predict the associated light-beam orbital angular momentum spectra(4). Setting up the best existing telescopes properly, it should be possible to detect and measure this twisted light, thus allowing a direct observational demonstration of the existence of rotating black holes. As non-rotating objects are more an exception than a rule in the Universe, our findings are of fundamental importance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 7, no 3, 195-197 p.
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-149581DOI: 10.1038/NPHYS1907ISI: 000287844300014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-149581DiVA: diva2:405148
Available from: 2011-03-21 Created: 2011-03-21 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved

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