Fluids, superfluids and artificial black holes made of light

Under appropriate conditions, light propagating in nonlinear media exhibits a remarkable behaviour – the propagation is identical to that of a fluid. Perturbations on the transverse beam profile will propagate as waves in a perfect fluid and in many cases the fluid behaves as a superfluid that can be used to study turbulence, vorticity and other phenomena that are of relevance for superfluids and Bose-Einstein condensates. This project, at the interface between laser physics, superfluid physics and quantum physics will investigate new systems in which to observe photon fluid dynamics and will then apply these concepts to a variety of problems. Most notably, we have a long-standing interest in so-called “analogue gravity”, i.e. the creation of hydrodynamical analogues for curved spacetimes that can then be used to mimic and study objects such as (artificial) rotating black holes or (artificial) gravitational waves. This project is strictly experimental.

Please see our research group website for more information and recent publications: http://extremelight.eps.hw.ac.uk/

Please send inquiry emails to Prof. Daniele Faccio at D.Faccio@hw.ac.uk