Relativity visualized

The "Real" Einstein Ring

Corvin Zahn, Ute Kraus, February 24, 2005
The real einstein ring, MPEG4 320×240 (94 kB), MPEG4 640×480 (355 kB)

A short movie of a "real" Einstein ring: It shows a black hole passing in front of a portrait of Albert Einstein. Gravitational light deflection near the black hole produces the ring-shaped distortions of the picture.

Einstein predicted this phenomenon in 1936, but thought that it would probably never be observable in nature. However, in the meantime there have been many astronomical observations of this "gravitational lensing effect".

More: A more detailed description of light rays near a black hole can be found in the section Step by Step into a Black Hole. Light Deflection Near Neutron Stars explains how the light ray could be calculated and for more movies see Four-dimensional ray traycing in a curved spacetime.

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Authors: Corvin Zahn, Ute Kraus, Date: February 24, 2005
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