Do electromagnetic waves always propagate along null geodesics?

Felipe A. Asenjo, Sergio A. Hojman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We find exact solutions to Maxwell equations written in terms of four-vector potentials in non-rotating, as well as in Gödel and Kerr spacetimes. We show that Maxwell equations can be reduced to two uncoupled second-order differential equations for combinations of the components of the four-vector potential. Exact electromagnetic waves solutions are written on given gravitational field backgrounds where they evolve. We find that in non-rotating spherical symmetric spacetimes, electromagnetic waves travel along null geodesics. However, electromagnetic waves on Gödel and Kerr spacetimes do not exhibit that behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Article number205011
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number20
StatePublished - 27 Sep 2017


  • curved spacetime
  • electromagnetic waves
  • non-null geodesics


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