Is it true that light escaping from white dwarfs will show a gravitational redshift?

1 Answer
Dec 23, 2015



The small size and high density of white dwarf stars means that the gravitational red shift is much stronger than for less dense stars like our sun. A typical white dwarf might have a similar mass to our sun but be about #1/100#th of the diameter. Since gravity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance, that means that the surface gravity of a white dwarf would be about #10000# times that at the surface of the sun.

As far as I know the first really successful observations of such gravitational red shifts from white dwarf stars were made during the 1950's, agreeing with the predictions of general relativity.