## Counting Zeros of Harmonic Rational Functions and Its Application to Gravitational Lensing    [PDF]

Pavel M. Bleher, Youkow Homma, Lyndon L. Ji, Roland K. W. Roeder
General Relativity gives that finitely many point masses between an observer and a light source create many images of the light source. Positions of these images are solutions of $r(z)=\bar{z},$ where $r(z)$ is a rational function. We study the number of solutions to $p(z) = \bar{z}$ and $r(z) = \bar{z},$ where $p(z)$ and $r(z)$ are polynomials and rational functions, respectively. Upper and lower bounds were previously obtained by Khavinson-\'{S}wi\c{a}tek, Khavinson-Neumann, and Petters. Between these bounds, we show that any number of simple zeros allowed by the Argument Principle occurs and nothing else occurs, off of a proper real algebraic set. If $r(z) = \bar{z}$ describes an $n$-point gravitational lens, we determine the possible numbers of generic images.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1206.2273