KentuckyFC writes "Metamaterials are substances with a permittivity and permeability that has been manipulated in a way that allows fine control over the behavior of light. They have famously been used to create an invisibility cloak that hides objects from view. Now Igor Smolyaninov, a physicist in the US, has calculated how metamaterials could be used for a much more profound demonstration: to reproduce the behavior of light in various kinds of spacetimes, in particular a (2+2) spacetime (one having two dimensions of space and two of time). His method is to show that there is formal mathematical analogy between the way metamaterials and spacetimes affect light. He goes on to show how a phase transition in a (2+2) spacetime leads to the creation of a (2+1) spacetime filled with photons, an event analogous to the Big Bang." Here are the abstract and the preprint (PDF).
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