Relativistic Orbits of Matter and Light in the Equatorial Plane of a Schwarzschild Black Hole
This Java software allows you to view and manipulate orbits predicted by Newtonian mechanics and by general relativity. The menu items at the top of the display and the buttons at the bottom are self-explanatory. (For an explanation of rain coordinates, see Exploring Black Holes, page B-4 and the following pages.)
- To set the angular momentum L/m of the orbiter, do one of the following:
- Drag the L/m slider right or left, or
- Click to the right or the left of the L/m slider for small changes, or
- Click on the display L/m = . . . and enter a numerical value.
- To set the energy E/m of the orbiter, either:
- Drag the black dot in the upper right display up or down, or
- Click on the display E/m = . . . and enter a numerical value (the mininimum energy will be the value of the effective potential at the current radius.)
- To set the initial position of the orbiter, either
- Drag the black dot in the upper right display right or left, or
- Click on the red line where you want the dot to be located, or
- Click on the display r = ... and enter a numerical value.
NOTE: Setting the angular momentum limits the available energies; setting both angular momentum and energy limits the initial radii.
The applet above uses Open Source Physics library developed by Dr. Wolfgang Christian et. al. at Davidson College. It's source code is published here under the GNU GPL licence without any guarantee. For the details, please see the text of the licence.
Written by Slavomir Tuleja, Tomas Jezo, Jozef Hanc, and Edwin F. Taylor, November 2002.