Main Question or Discussion Point
What would be required to cause photons to orbit an object?
I just want to point out that the reason photons don't interact with the electromagnetic force is not because they are the carriers of that force but rather because they are themselves charge neutral.Well certainly electromagnetism can't interact with it because well... photons carry electromagnetism. Don't know about the strong or weak nuclear forces though.
George Jones has already given the answer, if only you'd realise it, in post #7.Seems like the gravity to hold a photon in orbit around a black hole should be known? Is it?
Right. Photons cannot hold elliptical orbits.Because a regular mass can change speed. If it moves closer to the other object, the gravitational force will increase but its speed will also increase, so it won't end up crashing into the massive body. Photons can't increase or decrease speed, so if a photon is not at the ideal radius, then it won't get into a circular orbit because the attraction to the massive body is increased at a radius smaller than the circular orbit radius.
For spherical black holes, there are unstable circular orbits of massive particles, as well as stable circular orbits.Why would a photon's orbit be any less stable than a regular mass orbiting a regular body?
I guess Jennifer is referring to the fact that neutron stars orbiting each other are observed to have orbits that are decaying due to the loss of energy radiated as gravity waves. While this effect is difficult to measure even for neutron stars, it presumably exists for all gravitationaly orbiting objects.
I think that the principle of least time can only be applied when the space is more or less not curved.Anything that makes the path of least time in the form of a circle. I wonder if that's even possible since then it becomes essentially infinite length.