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Laser and a neutron star

  1. May 22, 2008 #1

    What would happen if you were orbiting a neutron star and shot a powerful laserbeam at the surface, at some angle?
    Would it reflect? Would it be absorbed?

    Thinking (if you picture the star as a perfect neutron star) that the surface is absolutley smooth, it would reflect light perfectly. But then again - does photons "bounce" of off neutrons? I remember that that is not the case - a photon cannot bounce, it can be absorbed and retransmitted, yes, but not bounced. Or is it the waveform that can bounce?

    And if it is absorbed, where will the energy go? Ther isn't much space for the neutrons to wobble around and gravity is kind of in the way for them to get excited...

  2. jcsd
  3. May 23, 2008 #2


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    It would travel at the speed of light wrt the orbital platform. Neutron stars emit light, hence obey GR. You would, however, notice an anomalous shift in the angle of the reflected beam due to GR effects.
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