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GeoViS – Relativistic ray tracing in four-dimensional spacetimes

The optical appearance of objects moving close to the speed of light or orbiting a black hole is of interest for educational purposes as well as for scientific modelling in special and general relativity. The standard approach to visualize such settings is ray tracing in four-dimensional spacetimes where the direction of the physical propagation of light is reversed. GeoViS implements this ray tracing principle making use of the Motion4D library that handles the spacetime metrics, the integration of geodesics, and the description of objects defined with respect to local reference frames.

GeoViS is published in ...

  • T. Müller
    GeoViS – Relativistic ray tracing in four-dimensional spacetimes
    Computer Physics Communication 185, 2301-2308 (2014).
    DOI: 10.1016/j.cpc.2014.04.013


The most recent version is available here: [2014-10-18].

Details to the Motion4D library can be found here.

If you use the cmake installation, then your ccmake configuration should look similar to my one.


Click on an image to download the high resolution image.

Star orbiting a Schwarzschild black hole:

The same situation as with the checkered sphere but with the Earth texture taken from NASA's visible earth.

Kerr accretion disk:

Box around a Morris-Thorne wormhole:

Black hole shadows of a Kastor-Traschen spacetime:

Falling into a static black hole:

Rolling wheel:

All contents copyright © 2014, Thomas Müller
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