Optical analogues of the Newton–Schrödinger equation and boson star evolution

Roger, T., Maitland, C., Wilson, K., Westerberg, N. , Vocke, D., Wright, E. M. and Faccio, D. (2016) Optical analogues of the Newton–Schrödinger equation and boson star evolution. Nature Communications, 7, 13492. (doi: 10.1038/ncomms13492) (PMID:27841261) (PMCID:PMC5114577)

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Many gravitational phenomena that lie at the core of our understanding of the Universe have not yet been directly observed. An example in this sense is the boson star that has been proposed as an alternative to some compact objects currently interpreted as being black holes. In the weak field limit, these stars are governed by the Newton–Schrodinger equation. Here we present an optical system that, under appropriate conditions, identically reproduces such equation in two dimensions. A rotating boson star is experimentally and numerically modelled by an optical beam propagating through a medium with a positive thermal nonlinearity and is shown to oscillate in time while also stable up to relatively high densities. For higher densities, instabilities lead to an apparent breakup of the star, yet coherence across the whole structure is maintained. These results show that optical analogues can be used to shed new light on inaccessible gravitational objects.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Maitland-Warne, Calum and Faccio, Professor Daniele and Westerberg, Dr Niclas
Authors: Roger, T., Maitland, C., Wilson, K., Westerberg, N., Vocke, D., Wright, E. M., and Faccio, D.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Published Online:14 November 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 7:13492
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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