Analog models of General Relativity

Conference poster

This is the New Zealand mirror of the homepage for the workshop on "Analog models of General Relativity". The primary website is maintained in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Brazilian website

Aim of the workshop:

This workshop dealt with various "analog models" for GR. These analog models include acoustics in flowing fluids, quasi-particles in superfluids, flowing Bose-Einstein condensates, slow light in flowing fluids, nonlinear electrodynamics, the Scharnhorst effect, and more.

The common theme in all these analog models is the presence of an effective Lorentzian metric that governs perturbative fluctuations and/or quasi-particles. This effective metric forces the fluctuations to exhibit many of the kinematic features of general relativity, though dynamic features [those specifically based on the Einstein-Hilbert action] typically do not carry over.

It seems plausible that we might be able to construct analog horizons in the laboratory in the not too distant future. Such analog horizons are expected to exhibit Hawking radiation, but possibly without any analog of Bekenstein entropy. Analog models of GR are useful probes of Hawking radiation: Because the short-distance physics is explicitly known (atomic physics), the cutoff is physically understood---this helps clarify the role of trans-Planckian frequencies in GR, which in these condensed-matter GR analogs are replaced by "trans-Bohrian" physics.

Last updated 24 October 2002
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