about Quantum Gravity LABORATORY

The dynamics of the early universe and black holes are fundamental reflections of the interplay between general relativity and 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 fluid and superfluid systems). 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. Studying the dynamics of fields in time-dependent analogue spacetimes will allow us to reproduce in the laboratory some of the most ill-understood processes in our Universe, and make concrete predictions, transferable to cosmology, astrophysics and fundamental physics.

Black holes, accessible regions of no escape surrounded by an event horizon. From an astrophysical point of view it is essential to study rotating black holes, since any realistic gravitational collapse is not spherically symmetric, and therefore leads to the formation of a black hole with non-zero angular momentum. Rotating black holes (a) exhibit an ergosphere, that is a spacetime region where the angular velocity of the rotating black hole is high enough to “drag the surrounding space along with the velocity of light”. A bathtub vortex flow (b) can be used to mimic some of the effects predicted to arise in the vicinity of rotating black holes. (For more information on analogue rotating black holes click here.)