Analogue Gravity

Principal Investigator: Stefano Liberati

Areas:

  • Theory and Phenomenology of Gravity

Abstract: Condensed matter systems, such as acoustics in flowing fluids, light in moving dielectrics, or quasiparticles in a moving superfluid, can be used to mimic aspects of curved spacetime geometries and of fields propagation over them. For example a fluid flow with a supersonic region can mimic a black hole for phonons in the fluid (what is called an acoustic black hole). In this sense these systems (and others) provide experimentally accessible models of curved-space quantum field theory and of the phenomenology one could expect if spacetime would be an intrinsically emergent object. In this sense analogue gravity system can play a manifold purpose: on the one side they can provide a test bed for relevant phenomena in astrophysics such superradiance and cosmological particle creation or they can help shedding light and reproduce in laboratory evanescent phenomena like Hawking radiation from black holes. Also, some of them can be used as quantum simulators of interesting phenomena in particle physics and relativistic quantum information, as well as toy model of emergent gravity scenarios.

Description: Analogue gravity is a vibrant branch of research aimed at using condensed matter systems as tests beds of gravitational phenomena in astrophysics and cosmology which would be otherwise very difficult to observed and analyse.