Physicists accelerate beams of light in a curved space in the laboratory

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2018-01-18 20:00:06

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Physicists accelerate beams of light in a curved space in the laboratory

Physicists have managed to demonstrate the acceleration of the light rays on flat surfaces when accelerating led to the fact that the rays follow curved trajectories. However, a new experiment has expanded the boundaries of what you can show in the lab. For the first time, physicists have demonstrated the acceleration of the light beam in a curved space. Instead of moving on a geodesic path (the shortest path on curved surface), the beam is deviated from the path due to the acceleration.

A Study published in the journal Physical Review X, "opens the door to a new area of research accelerated beams. Still the acceleration of beams was studied only in an environment with a flat structure is kind of flat free space or in waveguides. In the present work, the optical rays follow curved trajectories in curved environment," says Anatoly, physicist Israel Institute of technology.

The Successful experiment conducted by physicists at the Israel Institute of technology, Harvard University and the Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysical center, increase research capacity further laboratory studies of phenomena such as gravitational lensing. Conducting such experiments in the laboratory, scientists can study phenomena predicted by the General theory of relativity, under carefully controlled conditions.

At First, scientists accelerated a laser beam, reflecting from the spatial light modulator is intended to modulate amplitude, phase, or polarization of light waves. Bounce the beam from this device imprints a certain wave front on the beam, which is accelerated, keeping its shape. The researchers then sent a rapid laser at the inner part of the bulb painted so that light scattered and became visible to the researchers.

Scientists have observed that moving inside the lamp, the beam is rejected trajectory from a geodesic line. Comparing this movement with a beam that is not accelerated, they found that when there is no acceleration, the beam will follow the line.

This study could be a starting point for future studies of phenomena that fall under the General theory of relativity. Homie said "equations of the General theory of relativity determine, among other things, the evolution of electromagnetic waves in a curved space. It turns out that the evolution of electromagnetic waves in curved space Einstein equations is equivalent to the propagation of electromagnetic waves in a material medium described by electric and magnetic susceptibility, which can vary in space."

This experiment should provide an impetus to research on the topic of gravitational lensing and Einstein rings, gravitational blue or red shift, and more. In the future, scientists plan to study whether plasma beams (which instead of light varies plasma) is also accelerated in a curved space.

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