Gravitational Lensing of a Point Source

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Move a point source lens of a given mass over different types of grids to see the effects of gravitational lensing.

Contributed by: Rob Morris (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



Einstein's general relativity tells us that matter and energy bend spacetime. One of the best examples of this can be seen with "gravitational lensing." Lensing occurs when the path of light from a source (or in this case a grid of point sources) travels near a massive or energetic object, called a "lens," and bends due to the mass/energy of the lens. In this Demonstration the massive object is an infinitely small point of variable mass, marked with a brown dot.

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