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Gravitational spin Hall effect of light

MPS-Authors
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Oancea,  Marius
Geometry and Gravitation, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Joudioux,  Jérémie
Geometric Analysis and Gravitation, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;
Geometry and Gravitation, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Paganini,  Claudio
Geometric Analysis and Gravitation, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Andersson,  Lars
Geometric Analysis and Gravitation, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;
Geometry and Gravitation, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Fulltext (public)

2003.04553.pdf
(Preprint), 682KB

PhysRevD.102.024075.pdf
(Publisher version), 775KB

Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available
Citation

Oancea, M., Joudioux, J., Dodin, I. Y., Ruiz, D. E., Paganini, C., & Andersson, L. (2020). Gravitational spin Hall effect of light. Physical Review D, 102(2): 024075. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.102.024075.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-DF0A-6
Abstract
The propagation of electromagnetic waves in vacuum is often described within the geometrical optics approximation, which predicts that wave rays follow null geodesics. However, this model is valid only in the limit of infinitely high frequencies. At large but finite frequencies, diffraction can still be negligible, but the ray dynamics becomes affected by the evolution of the wave polarization. Hence, rays can deviate from null geodesics, which is known as the gravitational spin Hall effect of light. In the literature, this effect has been calculated ad hoc for a number for special cases, but no general description has been proposed. Here, we present a covariant WKB analysis from first principles for the propagation of light in arbitrary curved spacetimes. We obtain polarization-dependent ray equations describing the gravitational spin Hall effect of light. We also present numerical examples of polarization-dependent ray dynamics in the Schwarzschild spacetime, and the magnitude of the effect is briefly discussed. The analysis presented here is analogous to the spin Hall effect of light in inhomogeneous media, which has been experimentally verified.