Effect of black hole–plasma system on light beams

  • Matej Sárený
  • Vladimír BalekEmail author
Research Article


In the paper we discuss propagation of light around Kerr black hole surrounded by non-magnetized cold plasma with infinite conductivity. For that purpose, we use equations for propagation of light rays obtained within Synge’s approach in the approximation of geometrical optics. We derive equation of deviation of a ray propagating close to the reference ray, which is a generalization of the well-known Jacobi equation, and use it to calculate the modification of angular distribution of stars observed close to a black hole surrounded by plasma, compared to the uniform star distribution that would be seen without black hole or plasma. We place the observer in the equatorial plane of the Kerr black hole and try various choices of plasma distributions described by mathematically simple formulae. Key features of star distribution on a local sky near the black hole are identified and the influence of plasma on them is discussed.


Relativistic geometric optics in plasma Ray equation Ray deviation Star distribution function 



The work was supported by the Grant VEGA 1/0985/16. M. S. is also thankful to the Comenius University for its support via the Grants UK/159/2018 and UK/105/2017.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Theoretical PhysicsComenius UniversityBratislavaSlovakia

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