We investigate the semiclassical approach to the lensing of photons in a spherically symmetric gravitational background, starting from Born level and include in our analysis the radiative corrections obtained from the electroweak theory for the graviton/photon/photon vertex. In this approach, the cross section is related to the angular variation of the impact parameter (b), which is then solved for b as a function of the angle of deflection, and measured in horizon units (bh ≡ b/(2GM)). Exact numerical solutions for the angular deflection are presented. The numerical analysis shows that perturbation theory in a weak background agrees with the classical Einstein formula for the deflection already at distances of the order of 20 horizon units (∼20 bh) and it is optimal in the description both of very strong and weak lensings. We show that the electroweak corrections to the cross section are sizeable, becoming very significant for high energy gamma rays. Our analysis covers in energy most of the photon spectrum, from the cosmic microwave background up to very high energy gamma rays, and scatterings with any value of the photon impact parameter. We also study the helicity-flip photon amplitude, which is of O(α2) in the weak coupling α, and its massless fermion limit, which involves the exchange of a conformal anomaly pole. The corresponding cross section is proportional to the Born level result and brings to a simple renormalization of Einsten’s formula.
- Black Holes
- Cosmology of Theories beyond the SM
- Electromagnetic Processes and Properties
- Standard Model
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics