Role of geometry in the superfluid flow of nonlocal photon fluids

David Emanuel Frank Vocke, Kali Wilson, Francesco Marino, Iacopo Carusotto, Ewan Wright, Thomas Roger, Brian Anderson, Patrik Ohberg, Daniele Franco Angelo Faccio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)
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Recent work has unveiled a new class of optical systems that can exhibit the characteristic features of superfluidity. One such system relies on the repulsive photon-photon interaction that is mediatedby a thermal optical nonlinearity and is therefore inherently nonlocal due to thermal diffusion. Here we investigate how such a nonlocal interaction, which at a first inspection would not be expected tolead to superfluid behavior, may be tailored by acting upon the geometry of the photon fluid itself.Our models and measurements show that restricting the laser prole and hence the photon fluid to a strongly elliptical geometry modifies thermal diffusion along the major beam axis and reduces the effective nonlocal interaction length by two orders of magnitude. This in turn enables the system to display a characteristic trait of superfluid flow: the nucleation of quantized vortices in the flow pastan extended physical obstacle. These results are general and apply to other nonlocal fluids, such as dipolar Bose-Einstein condensates, and show that "thermal" photon superfluids provide an exciting and novel experimental environment for probing the nature of superfluidity, with applications to thestudy of quantum turbulence and analogue gravity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number013849
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2016


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