Analogue Gravity

Carlos Barceló  
Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC)
Glorieta de la Astronomía,
18008 Granada, Spain

'External link'
Stefano Liberati  
International School for Advanced Studies
Via Bonomea 265, I-34136 Trieste, Italy,
INFN, Sezione di Trieste, Trieste, Italy

'External link'
Matt Visser  
School of Mathematics, Statistics, and Operations Research
Victoria University of Wellington; PO Box 600
Wellington 6140, New Zealand

'External link'
Major update of lrr-2005-12 (see article history and change log for details.)


Analogue gravity is a research programme which investigates analogues of general relativistic gravitational fields within other physical systems, typically but not exclusively condensed matter systems, with the aim of gaining new insights into their corresponding problems. Analogue models of (and for) gravity have a long and distinguished history dating back to the earliest years of general relativity. In this review article we will discuss the history, aims, results, and future prospects for the various analogue models. We start the discussion by presenting a particularly simple example of an analogue model, before exploring the rich history and complex tapestry of models discussed in the literature. The last decade in particular has seen a remarkable and sustained development of analogue gravity ideas, leading to some hundreds of published articles, a workshop, two books, and this review article. Future prospects for the analogue gravity programme also look promising, both on the experimental front (where technology is rapidly advancing) and on the theoretical front (where variants of analogue models can be used as a springboard for radical attacks on the problem of quantum gravity).

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