Scientific Results

Emergent geometries and nonlinear-wave dynamics in photon fluids

Year: 2016

Authors: Marino F., Maitland C., Vocke D., Ortolan A., Faccio D.

Autors Affiliation: CNR-Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, L.go E. Fermi 6, I-50125 Firenze, Italy;
INFN, Sez. di Firenze, Via Sansone 1, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy;
School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, SUPA, Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK;
INFN, Laboratori Nazionali di Legnaro, Viale dell’ Universita 2, I-35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy.

Abstract: Nonlinear waves in defocusing media are investigated in the framework of the hydrodynamic description of light as a photon fluid. The observations are interpreted in terms of an emergent curved spacetime generated by the waves themselves, which fully determines their dynamics. The spacetime geometry emerges naturally as a result of the nonlinear interaction between the waves and the self-induced background flow. In particular, as observed in real fluids, different points of the wave profile propagate at different velocities leading to the self-steepening of the wave front and to the formation of a shock. This phenomenon can be associated to a curvature singularity of the emergent metric. Our analysis offers an alternative insight into the problem of shock formation and provides a demonstration of an analogue gravity model that goes beyond the kinematic level.

Journal/Review: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS

Volume: 6      Pages from: 23282  to: 23282

More Information: D.F. acknowledges financial support from the European Research Council under the European Unions Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013)/ERC GA 306559 and EPSRC (UK, Grant EP/J00443X/1).
DOI: 10.1038/srep23282

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