Why Light of the Sun is
by the Gravitational Field
Deflection of Light by Gravity
is not Compatible with
the Principle of
Series FAQ #11 - No
Light Deflection by the Sun's Gravitational Field.
Question - (11-A)
How can we show that Light
is NOT Deflected by the Gravitational Potential of the Sun?
be deflected by the Gravitational Field of the Sun,
because this is not compatible with the Principle of Mass-Enery
Conservation. This would mean that energy disappears by magic and
is calculated that in relativity, light travels at
a slower speed than c in the Sun's gravitational Field. This is
contrary to Einstein's hypothesis of a constant velocity of light
in all frames of reference.
A Serious Analysis
show that experimentally, light deflection by gravity has never been
really observed. Light is observed to be deflected by transparent
bodies like glass, liquids, and gases (as in air and "unavoidably" in
gazeous nebula) due to their index of refraction, but it has never
clearly demonstratd that it is deflected by gravity.
General Relativity, Einstein’s predicts that the velocity of light is
slower in the gravitational potential near the Sun. This is not
compatible with the previous fundamental principle of a constant
velocity of light in vacuum. It is clearly contradictory to
that there is an index of refraction larger than unity, near the Sun,
in the vacuum of space. This change of velocity is an internal
contradiction in General Relativity.
There are other serious problems about the hypothesis of light
deflection in a gravitational potential predicted by Einstein.
example, such a deflection of light is not compatible with the
principle of mass-energy conservation. In other words, some
appears from nothing or disappears into nothing and goes nowhere.
would be magic. We do not believe in magic.
simple proof that the interaction of light in a
gravitational field (or its slowing down) is not compatible with the
principle of mass-energy conservation. Let us consider the Pound
Rebka experiment (1).
a nucleus of Fe57
is emitting 14.4 keV Gamma rays, which travel from the bottom to the
top of a tower. It is observed that the Gamma-ray detector at the
of the tower measures a lower frequency. Einstein’s general
explains that this is due to space-time distortion in the Fe57
detector frame, related to its increase of gravitational potential,
when moving from the bottom to the top of the tower. However,
Einstein’s general relativity does not predict any absolute change of
energy of the photon. Instead, the apparent change of frequency
to space-time distortion. This is generally accepted in general
to consider that the energy of photons (Gamma Rays) does not change at
all when they are traveling in gravitational fields. However,
lack of change is not due to space distortion. In order to
energy of photons, we need to use clocks, that are formed of electrons
and protons. We have seen previously that when atoms (therefore
clocks) are raised to a higher gravitational energy, the electron orbit
(Bohr radius) is changing so that the clock rate is also
This is fundamental in quantum mechanics. Therefore the clock,
measures the energy of the photons arriving at higher gravitational
potential runs at a different rate than the one located at the lower
gravitational potential. This the reason for which the "photon"
higher gravitational potential "seems" to have more energy than at a
lower gravitational potential. However, we can see that the
the photon does not change. This has been demonstrated in the
Book: "Einstein Theory of Relativity
versus Classical Mechanics", and other papers. Therefore the
"apparent" change of frequency measured in Pound and Rebka experiment (1) is
entirely due to the change of clock rate of the clock at the higher
gravitational potential and not due to an assumed "non-realistic" space
distortion (that never exists).
the book "Einstein Theory of
Relativity versus Classical Mechanics",
and other related papers, the basic idea for which we have shown that
Newton's laws of physics are always valid in any frame, is based on the
fact that when mattter or energy passes from one frame to another frame
having a different potential or kinetic energy, this requires
necessarily that the observer, with all his measuring tools, made out
of matter, must also make the measurement in the new frame.
that the measuring units existing in each frame must change, when
carried to new frames has been overlooked in relativity. However,
seen in the book "Einstein Theory of
Relativity versus Classical Mechanics", this is absolutely
necessary on order to be compatible with the principle of mass-energy
easily solved using fundamental quantum
mechanics. Unfortunately, the fundamental principles of quantum
mechanics did not exist when Einstein developed relativity
Using quantum mechanics, we can see that the atomic energy levels and
the radius of the Bohr atom are modified so that the observer in a new
frame observes a different values that are characteristic of the new
size of fundamental units in the new frame. It becomes obvious
all matter in the new frame is slightly modified including matter
forming the body of the observer. This is the way nature
is a simple application of the principle of mass-energy
Consequently, in the Pound and Rebka's experiment, there exists no
absolute change of photon energy. Due to their different location
different potential, the Gamma detectors possess different sensibility.
There are more ways to show that light cannot be deflected by a
gravitational field. A correct calculation implies that the
units inside a frame moving at the velocity of light (photon frame)
requires that all clocks are stopped in that frame (moving at the
velocity of light). Therefore no transverse displacement is
in zero local (photon) time. This has been demonstrated in
paper. Furthermore, it
has been shown (*) that this deflection of light has never been
seriously measured experimentally.
New Choice of Questions
(1) Pound R. V. and G. A.
Rebka, Apparent Weight of Photons, Phys. Rev. Lett., 4, 337 1964.
See also: Pound R. V. and Snider, J.L.
Effect of gravity on Nuclear Resonance, Phys. Rev. B, 140, 788-803,
to top of page
Next Series of
series of questions
Return to list of
Return to list
space.html Updated Sept. 1999