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A twist on relativistic astrophysics

Rotating black holes twist photons emitted nearby, a peculiar effect in general relativity that is now demonstrated by numerical experiments. This twisted light and its orbital angular momentum could reveal the physics of black holes in more detail than deemed possible before.

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Figure 1: Photons emitted by an accretion disk around a rotating black hole carry intrinsic orbital angular momentum (OAM), with wavefronts of spiral-staircase shape.


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Correspondence to Martin Bojowald.

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Bojowald, M. A twist on relativistic astrophysics. Nature Phys 7, 188–189 (2011).

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