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Phys Rev Lett. 2000 Jan 31;84(5):822-5.

Relativistic effects of light in moving media with extremely low group velocity

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  • 1Physics Department, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Lindstedtsvagen 24, S-10044 Stockholm, Sweden and School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St. Andrews, North Haugh, St. Andrews, Fife, KY16 9SS, Scotland.


A moving dielectric medium acts as an effective gravitational field on light. One can use media with extremely low group velocities [Lene Vestergaard Hau et al., Nature (London) 397, 594 (1999)] to create dielectric analogs of astronomical effects on Earth. In particular, a vortex flow imprints a long-ranging topological effect on incident light and can behave like an optical black hole.

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