Visualizing Rotating Spacetime

John Lindner

Kerr Black Hole

An uncharged, spinning black hole placed in front of the background image on the left produces the Escher-like camera image on the right (Am. Journ. Phys. 76, 347 (2008)).

In General Relativity, light moves along geodesics (the shortest possible paths) in spacetime curved by mass, energy, and pressure. In the vicinity of concentrated masses, the curvature becomes significant, and spacetime acts like a lens, even causing light to move in circles or trapping it, as in black holes.

We will ray trace artificial and natural background images in the vicinity of rotating (Kerr) black holes. We will use Xgrid to parallelize the image processing. We will extend previous work by incorporating intensity and color effects.