future events

General Relativistic Phenomena in Optical Settings

TYPESolid State Institute Seminar
Speaker:Mrs. Rivka Bekenstein
Affiliation:Physics Department and Solid State Institute, Technion
Time:12:30 - 13:30
Location:Solid State Auditorium(Entrance)
Remark:Ph.D. Student of Distinguished Professor Moti Segev
Abstract:In 1916 Albert Einstein published the General theory of Relativity (GR) predicting a plethora of exciting
gravitational phenomena. Some of these have been directly observed, such as the deflection of light by the
sun. However, many of GR’s predictions still elude observation to this day. Consequently, mathematically
analogous physical  systems were suggested as platforms for emulation experiments,  among which  optical
systems are prime candidates.  
The talk will  cover my work  on gravitational effects with optical wavepackets in linear and nonlinear
optical systems. We present a highly nonlocal nonlinear optical system that is mathematically equivalent to
the  Newton-Schrödinger  model  commonly  used  to  describe  the  inherently  nonlinear  dynamics  of
gravitational systems. We use this setting to demonstrate gravitational phenomena in tabletop experiments:
the wave dynamics of the interaction of a quantum wavefunction with  a massive star. Such  wavefunctions
interact in the curved space that they themselves induce, displaying complex nonlinear dynamics arising
from the interplay between  diffraction, interference and the emulated gravitational effects. Finally, we  study
the  dynamics  of  wavepackets  on  curved  surfaces  and  design  macro  and  micro  sized  optical  structures
suggesting new photonics applications by controlling the curvature of space.