Gravitational properties of light - The emission of counter-propagating laser pulses from an atom [Replacement]
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The gravitational field of a laser pulse, although not detectable at the moment, comes with a peculiar feature which continues to attract attention; cause and effect propagate with the same speed, that of light. A particular result of this feature is that the gravitational field of an emitted laser pulse and the gravitational effect of the emitter's energy-momentum change are intimately entangled. In this article, a specific example of an emission process is considered - an atom, modeled as a point mass, emits two counter-propagating pulses. The corresponding curvature and the effect on massive and massless test particles is discussed. A comparison is made with the metric corresponding to a spherically symmetric massive object that isotropically emits radiation - the Vaidya metric.