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Re: Can You Bend Light

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Posted by Matteo Buzzacchi/">Matteo Buzzacchi on January 12, 2000 14:34:36 UTC

: : : : My 10 year old niece has a science question from her teacher. Does gravity affect light, and can it be bent? : : : : Any help would be great.

: : : You, physically, cannot bend light, yet if light is passing a mass of great quantity, the mass of the light : : : will be accelerated by the large mass, and the light will be in the direction of the mass. The amount of bend in the : : : beam of light may not be notible, but there will always be a slight bend in the light if it is being accelerated by another mass.

: : Are you saying that photons have mass? I thought this wasn't so?

Photons do NOT have mass ! This is the reason why they are always travelling on a geodetical line in space-time. Geodetical lines are straight in flat space-time, i.e. when there is no matter or energy in it, but they are bent by massive objects like stars or at the extreme by black holes. General relativity is the theory which describes such effects.

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