General Relativity and Gravitation

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 77–85

The gravitational field of photons

Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10714-008-0655-z

Cite this article as:
Bonnor, W.B. Gen Relativ Gravit (2009) 41: 77. doi:10.1007/s10714-008-0655-z


The gravitational field of a photon on an infinite straight path is a single sheet of plane-fronted gravitational wave accompanying the photon and perpendicular to its track. This field cannot arise from a retarded potential generated by the photon, and I suggest that it arises in the process of emission. The near-field depends on the energy of the photon, but the far-field does not. The field of a steady beam of photons is compared with that of a static material rod, and the differences discussed.


PhotonPlane-frontedGravitational wave

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Queen Mary, University of LondonLondonUK