Vol. 7 (2004) > lrr-2004-9

doi: 10.12942/lrr-2004-9
Living Rev. Relativity 7 (2004), 9

Gravitational Lensing from a Spacetime Perspective

1 Physics Department, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YB, U.K.

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Article Abstract

The theory of gravitational lensing is reviewed from a spacetime perspective, without quasi-Newtonian approximations. More precisely, the review covers all aspects of gravitational lensing where light propagation is described in terms of lightlike geodesics of a metric of Lorentzian signature. It includes the basic equations and the relevant techniques for calculating the position, the shape, and the brightness of images in an arbitrary general-relativistic spacetime. It also includes general theorems on the classification of caustics, on criteria for multiple imaging, and on the possible number of images. The general results are illustrated with examples of spacetimes where the lensing features can be explicitly calculated, including the Schwarzschild spacetime, the Kerr spacetime, the spacetime of a straight string, plane gravitational waves, and others.

Keywords: differential geometry, gravitational lenses

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Since a Living Reviews in Relativity article may evolve over time, please cite the access <date>, which uniquely identifies the version of the article you are referring to:

Volker Perlick,
"Gravitational Lensing from a Spacetime Perspective",
Living Rev. Relativity 7,  (2004),  9. URL (cited on <date>):
http://www.livingreviews.org/lrr-2004-9

Article History

ORIGINAL http://www.livingreviews.org/lrr-2004-9
Title Gravitational Lensing from a Spacetime Perspective
Author Volker Perlick
Date accepted 8 July 2004, published 17 September 2004
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