Can light get slingshotted?

  • #1
DaveC426913
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Someone asked an intriguing question:
Does light passing close to a massive body experience the Doppler-equivalent of slingshotting?
i.e. blue-shifted or red-shifted, depending on its path?
(I guess the light would be acting as the third body in a three-body system?)
 
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  • #3
berkeman
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Someone asked an intriguing question:
A friend of a friend, I suppose...? :wink:
 
  • #4
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Does light passing close to a massive body experience the Doppler-equivalent of slingshotting?
It must since the slingshotting is just an elastic collision and the interaction would have to be elastic wouldn’t it?
 
  • #5
DaveC426913
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A friend of a friend, I suppose...? :wink:
Somebody on another forum. I didn't have a good answer for him, so I came to the 'sperts.
 
  • #6
DaveC426913
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It must since the slingshotting is just an elastic collision and the interaction would have to be elastic wouldn’t it?
So, to be clear, what we're giving a thumbs-up to here is that light passing through the trailing path of a moving object, such as Jupiter or a galaxy, would appear slightly blue-shifted compared to light passing at a distance from the mass.

The light would steal a bit of momentum from the mass, slowing it down, while the light, in-turn, up-shifted.
 

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