Monday, 1 of September of 2014

Light Orbit paths around a black hole – Anthony Mitchell – 2010

Anthony Mitchell (2010 Masters graduate in Computer Science) performed calculations in General Relativity as a part of a graduate research project in physics.  Using the Schwartzschild metric describing the curvature of space and time around a black hole, Anthony performed some high precision calculations to seek a “boomarang” orbit around a black hole.  The computer program iterates from different starting positions to calculate the proper starting angle to have the beam of light circle the black hole a specified number of times before returning to the starting location.  This involved converting some existing theoretical calculations into computer code, and generating the converging routines to allow for the iterative calculations.  The final orbits were then graphically shown, and data tables were generated.  Advisor: Dr. Scott Schneider (sschneide@ltu.edu).