Dr. Álvaro Núñez from Cedenna’s Magnetic Nanostructures Line and a researcher from the University of Chile, together with Dr. Alejandro Roldán, a postdoctoral student from the U. of Chile working with Cedenna and currently a professor at the University of Aysén, and the theoretical physicist Rembert Duine from the Institute of Theoretical Physics from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands have found a way to simulate the behavior of black holes in a chip.
The researchers proposed simulating the event horizon of a black hole at the nanometric level, comparing the behavior of the event horizon to that of spin waves in a wire with a wide and a narrow end.
Spin waves are fluctuations propagated in magnetic materials when the polarity of electrons is directed with an electrical current.
The event horizon is the point at which nothing, not even light, can escape the gravitational attraction of the black hole. The researchers compared the properties of this phenomenon to what occurs when electrons flow through a wire from the widest to the narrowest end so rapidly that spin waves that are dragged along the wire cannot be propagated against the electrons. The point at which this occurs is the point of no return for spin waves equivalent to the event horizon of a black hole.
The physicists’ proposal makes it possible to study the fundamental aspects of black holes in a chip, in effect, in a small laboratory here on Earth without the necessity of dealing with the extreme conditions of being in space. As well, spin wave black holes can be useful for quantum technology.
The results, which represent a bridge between cosmology, the science of the large, and nanotechnology, the science of the small, were published in the prestigious journal Physical Review Letters 118, 061301, from February 8 2017.
More information is available at http://ingenieria.uchile.cl/noticias/130926/nvestigacion-permite-simular-agujeros-negros-en-un-laboratorio