The School of Physics and Astronomy
at the University of St Andrews

Optical Black Holes


An optical black hole created by a vortexOur newly appointed Professor of Theoretical Physics, Ulf Leonhardt, had his exciting theoretical work on optical black holes featured in the New York Times, AIP Physics News Update 468, in UniSci, and as papers in Physical Review Letters and Physical Review A.. The diagram shows light spiralling into an optical black hole created by a vortex of fluid that whirls at velocities comparable to the speed of light inside the fluid.  With the recent successes in creating media with in which light travels extremely slowly, this may be experimentally realisable.

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18 June 2003