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Re: Can You Bend Light

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Posted by Bruce Jensen/">Bruce Jensen on June 3, 1997 10:25:16 UTC

: : 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?

Well, while photons don't have mass, that is not to say that they aren't affected by gravity. Why? Well, perhaps it is better to think of gravity as the warping of spacetime rather than a "force" between two masses, per se. If you warp space, then anything moving through that space will follow a warped path - in the case of a black hole, the warp is so great that matter, energy (including light) and spacetime itself wraps right back in on itself, to an extreme density. So, next tiem you think "gravity," think "warp" and the concept of matter or energy moving in curved trajectories won't sound quite so strange!...Bruce

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