Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Pulling the plug :)

University of Nottingham

When pulling the plug, whether it be a bathtub or sink, the flow of water draining out mimics exactly how a black hole evolves as the event horizon in a drain operates exactly like the event horizon of a black hole because once the water passes the drain's EH threshold, it's all over.

The research team's new paper, published in Physical Review Letters, details how they simulated a phenomenon called backreaction.

In doing so, theirs is the first study to demonstrate how the evolution of black holes, based on their surrounding fields, can be simulated in a laboratory.

The researchers used a tank simulator consisting of a draining vortex to mimic a black hole. Much in the same way water drains when you empty a bath, any wave that comes too close to the drain is inescapably dragged down the plughole. 

Credit: James Stevenson Getty Images

In greater detail ...

The researchers used a water tank simulator consisting of a draining vortex, like the one that forms when you pull the plug in the bath. This mimics a black hole since a wave that comes too close to the drain gets dragged down the drain, unable to escape. Systems like these have grown increasingly popular over the past decade as a means to test gravitational phenomena in a controlled laboratory environment. In particular, Hawking radiation has been observed in an analog black hole experiment involving quantum optics.

Using this technique the researchers showed for the first time that when waves are sent into an analog black hole, the properties of the black hole itself can change significantly. The mechanism underlying this effect in their particular experiment has a remarkably simple explanation. When waves come close to the drain, they effectively push more water down the drain causing the total amount of water contained in the tank to decrease. This results in a change in the water height, which in the simulation corresponds to a change in the properties of the black hole.

"Ain't "science grand?

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