The relativistic Hall effect describing objects rotating at speeds comparable with the speed of light has been reported by researchers at RIKEN in Japan, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Ukraine, and the University of Michigan in the US.
Work by Konstantin Bliokh and Franco Nori has helped explain some aspects of fundamental physics which you can demonstrate using your mobile phone.
As any camera operator knows, recording a fast rotating object such as a fan using a “rolling shutter” camera, like those found on mobile phones, results in weird distortions. See for example the video below:
Less widely understood — until now — is the link between these distortions and some of the landmark theories in physics, namely Einstein’s relativity and the Hall effect.
Hall effects describe the interplay of rotation and linear motion in objects. There are already a number of manifestations of the Hall effect, including classical, quantum, and ‘spin-based’.
Relativity describes effects that arise when an object approaches the speed of light. This study considered the Hall effect as arising naturally under special relativity conditions without any external ﬁelds. The researchers found that a relativistic treatment of rotating bodies and quantum wave systems with angular momentum results in deformations and a shift in the geometric centre. The distortions have parallels with those found when recording a rotating object with a rolling shutter camera.
“Our description makes relativistic and quantum aspects of angular momentum fully consistent with each other,” conclude Bliokh and Nori.
This relativistic approach may find applications over a wide range of length scales including elementary spinning particles, classical light and, even rotating black holes.
Konstantin Y. Bliokh and Franco Nori (2012) Relativistic Hall Effect. Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 120403 (2012). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.120403
For further information contact:
Franco Nori, Team Leader
Digital Materials Team
RIKEN Advanced Science Institute
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako-Shi
Saitama, 351-0198, Japan
Email: email@example.com Tel: +81-48-467-9707