7.13 Going further
Beyond the various theoretical issues we have discussed above there is the important question of
“experimental analogue gravity” – to what extent can all these ideas be tested in direct laboratory
experiments? Currently several experimental groups are investigating analogue models – surface wave
experiments [17, 532, 682, 334], a BEC-based experiment , and the fibre-optic experiment .
Broadly speaking, for any experimental group interested in analogue spacetimes the two key issues to
- Identify a particular analogue model easily amenable to laboratory investigation, and double
check the extent to which the model provides a theoretically robust and clean analogue to
general relativistic curved spacetime.
- Identify the technical issues involved in actually setting up a laboratory experiment.
While the consensus in the theoretical community is that Bose–Einstein condensates are likely
to provide the best working model for analogue gravity, it is possible that we might still be
surprised by experimental developments. We leave this as an open challenge to the experimental