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Teaching gravitational light deflection:
A short path from the metric to the geodesic

Teaching gravitational light deflection: A short path from the metric to the geodesic

Ute Kraus, Corvin Zahn, Jun 20, 2016

Gravitational light deflection was one of the early tests of the general theory of relativity and has by now attained a huge importance in astronomy. When teaching this topic in school, however, one is faced with the problem that the theoretical description of light paths as geodesics relies on advanced mathematics. In this contribution we describe a method that allows students to determine the geodesics for a given metric by means of a graphic construction.

 

Content:

Published in Astronomie und Raumfahrtexternal link Nr. 3/4 2016 (in German)

Download the article in PDF format here:
Teaching gravitational light deflection: A short path from the metric to the geodesic (2.5 MB).

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Online Resources

 
More: Sector models - a toolkit for teaching general relativity. Part 1: Curved spaces and spacetimes shows how sector models help to envisage curved space.

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Authors: Ute Kraus, Corvin Zahn, Date: Jun 20, 2016
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