Photon polarization and geometric phase in general relativity

Aharon Brodutch*, Tommaso F. Demarie, Daniel R. Terno

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


Rotation of polarization in an external gravitational field is one of the effects of general relativity that can serve as a basis for its precision tests. A careful analysis of reference frames is crucial for a proper evaluation of this effect. We introduce an operationally-motivated local reference frame that allows for a particularly simple description. We present a solution of null geodesics in Kerr space-time that is organized around a new expansion parameter, allowing a better control of the series, and use it to calculate the resulting polarization rotation. While this rotation depends on the reference-frame convention, we demonstrate a gauge-independent geometric phase for closed paths in general space-times.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104043
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2011

Bibliographical note

Brodutch, A., Demarie, TF & Terno, DR, Physical review D. Particles, fields, gravitation, and cosmology, 84(10), 104043, 2011. Copyright 2011 by the American Physical Society. The original article can be found at

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