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Spin Hall effects in the sky

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posted on 2023-03-01, 17:00 authored by Lars Andersson, Marius A. Oancea
In many areas of physics, the propagation of wave packets carrying intrinsic angular momentum is generally influenced by spin-orbit interactions. This is the main mechanism behind spin Hall effects, which result in wave packets following spin-dependent trajectories. Spin Hall effects have been observed in several experiments for electrons in condensed matter systems and for light propagating in inhomogeneous optical media. Similar effects have also been predicted for wave packets propagating in inhomogeneous gravitational fields. We give a brief introduction to gravitational spin Hall effects, emphasizing the analogies with the spin Hall effect of light in optics. Furthermore, we review the most promising astrophysical avenues that could lead to experimental observations of the gravitational spin Hall effect.

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