Physics Colloquia: The hydrodynamic black hole

Date: 
3 May 2019 - 3:30pm
Venue: 
Martin Wood Complex, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PU
Room: 
Martin Wood Lecture Theatre
Audience: 
General public (Age 14+)

All are welcome to this colloquium delivered by Dr Silke Weinfurtner, Royal Society University Research Fellow, Faculty of Science, University of Nottingham

The dynamics of the early universe and black holes are fundamental reflections of the interplay between general relativity and classical or quantum fields. The essential physical processes occur in situations that are difficult to observe and impossible to experiment with: when gravitational interactions are strong, when quantum effects are important, and/or on length scales that stretch far beyond the observable Universe. We propose to study these processes in experiments by employing analogue quantum simulators – systems whose excitations behave like quantum fields in a spacetime background (for example in normal and superfluids). Their high degree of tunability, in terms of dynamics, effective geometry, and field theoretical description allows one to emulate a wide range of elusive physical phenomena in a controlled laboratory setting. We will discuss in more detail the successful simulation of a range of processes expected to occur in the vicinity of rotating black holes: superradiance, gravitational lensing, ringdown and backreaction. We will end with a general discussion of Quantum Simulators of Fundamental Physics, i.e. future activities within the UK and the possible insights to be gained for astrophysical black holes and the early universe.

Tea and coffee will be available in the CL common room after the colloquium.

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