Researcher devises a new way to mimic Hawking radiation in a lab

black hole
An artist's concept of a growing black hole. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Physicist Jeff Steinhauer, with the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Israel has devised a means for mimicking Hawking radiation in his lab. In his paper published in the journal Nature Physics, he describes what he did in his lab and why he believes his experiments likely mimic real Hawking radiation. Giovanni Modugno offers a News & Views piece on the work in the same journal issue.

Hawking radiation, it is believed, occurs when one of a matter/anti-matter particle pair is pulled into a black hole and the other is not, leaving the one that isn't, to flow freely in space. The idea was first proposed by famed physicist Stephen Hawking back in 1974, and ever since, physicists have been trying to either detect it emanating from a black hole, or recreate it in a lab somehow. Thus far, no one has been able to do either, though Steinhauer claims his work comes very close.

Steinhauer's experiments are based on the theory that quantum fluids should be able to mimic what happens at a black hole's event horizon—to that end, he uses sound rather than light. He first cooled several rubidium atoms to just above absolute zero, causing them behave as a single fluid quantum object. Next, he used a laser to cause the fluid to move—faster than sound travels. This caused sound waves to become trapped, mimicking the impact of gravity within a black hole. The setup resulted in pairs of sound waves being created and just as suddenly disappearing, mimicking the matter/anti-matter particles near a black hole. And just like the black hole, sometimes one of the paired particles was pulled in, while the other was not—mimicking Hawking radiation. Steinhauer then amplified the amount of "radiation" by setting up a secondary event horizon, which caused the free sound waves to bounce back and forth, building up enough to allow for measurement.

While Steinhauer's experiments do clearly mimic action described by Hawking's theory, it's still not exactly clear if what he's done truly mimics what occurs with real . Undaunted, he is continuing with the work, hoping to devise a method that doesn't require amplification, which would more closely resemble real black holes. Whether the experiments conducted by Steinhauer truly mimic black holes or not, it appears likely that what he's done has not only furthered the science and given more credence to Hawking radiation, but it's also laid a path for more research in the future.


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Black holes do not exist as we thought they did

More information: Nature DOI: 10.1038/nature.2014.16131
Journal information: Nature , Nature Physics

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Oct 13, 2014
can somebody help me here with this one? I thought that hawking radiation was like it is described above. (anti particle and particle avoiding annihilation and one or the other escaping from the event horizon.) but later ive read theories about p branes where hawking radiation is actually being emitted from the black hole. is it a combination of both? or is one theory preferred over the other?

Oct 13, 2014
Nothing in string theory is going to be proven for a while, at least on the small scale of the theory, so I would just stick to how it's described above.

Oct 13, 2014
a virtual pair turns actual very close to the EH. one particle appears inside the event horizon, the other outside. the one inside the EH is gone down the rabbit hole, the one created outside the EH escapes.

This is hawking radiation.

none of this has anything to do with M theory, or string theory or modified gravity or the Electric Universe, or AWT or extra diminutions wrapped up tightly

Oct 13, 2014
lol good explanation shootist, apparently someone disagrees with your nice sum up of the theory tho. =s *throws stars at you*

Oct 14, 2014
Interesting, tho it seems there is some debate between other scientists about the interpretation (source artcle).
'The setup resulted in pairs of sound waves...sometimes one of the paired particles was pulled in, while the other was not....'
Just exactly what does the latter refer to? Does it mean paired particles that produce the sound or paired grains?

Oct 14, 2014
lol good explanation shootist, apparently someone disagrees with your nice sum up of the theory tho. =s *throws stars at you*


You, as well. Plenty of Trolololols here at phys.org.

Oct 14, 2014
a virtual pair turns actual very close to the EH. one particle appears inside the event horizon, the other outside. the one inside the EH is gone down the rabbit hole, the one created outside the EH escapes.

This is hawking radiation.

none of this has anything to do with M theory, or string theory or modified gravity or the Electric Universe, or AWT or extra diminutions wrapped up tightly


this is what I thought, but I wanted to make sure, and hear someone else's opinion.. thanks for commenting :)

Oct 15, 2014
Sub: Cosmic spread Function
Cosmic Dance of Lord SIVA implies Visible-Invisible Matrix modes -Spread fields 2x5^n followed by Cosmic Flows 4^m - integrate for Cosmic Function and Regulation.
Please do not mis-use in the name ofmatter-antimatter Complexities that mislead to promoe destructive psychology or culture-
The Receiver end is the Milky way -with stability as desired criterion.
1.NANDI AN INTRODUCTION OF NEW CONCEPT FOR FLOW-FIELDS INTEGRATION By VIDYARDHI NANDURI
2.SUPER-IMPOSITION OF VISIBLE -INVISIBLE MATRIX MODE OVER SPACE BASED OBSERVATIONS VIDYARDHI NANDURI
Both papers were presented by the author-at THE FIRST COSPAR SYMPOSIUM- Planetary Systems of our Sun and other stars and the Future of Astronomy, Bangkok, Thailand, 11-15 Nov 2013
TAGS: Nandi Concept, Flow Fields Integration, Plasmas, Magnetic Fields, Visible invisible Matrix, Space Data Modeling, Universe Modeling, Cosmology Vedas Interlinks,vidyardhi Cosmology studies

Oct 15, 2014
@vidyunmaya, of course, of course! I mean, after all there is a statue of S(h)iva at Cern. It's a shame that the ancient 'gods' didn't write it all down for us, especially about BH's, EH and Hawking radiation

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