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Detecting rotational superradiance in fluid laboratories

Cardoso, Vitor; Coutant, Antonin; Richartz, Mauricio; Weinfurtner, Silke


Vitor Cardoso

Antonin Coutant

Mauricio Richartz


Rotational superradiance was predicted theoretically decades ago, and is chiefly responsible for a number of important effects and phenomenology in black-hole physics. However, rotational superradiance has never been observed experimentally. Here, with the aim of probing superradiance in the lab, we investigate the behavior of sound and surface waves in fluids resting in a circular basin at the center of which a rotating cylinder is placed. We show that with a suitable choice for the material of the cylinder, surface and sound waves are amplified. Two types of instabilities are studied: one sets in whenever superradiant modes are confined near the rotating cylinder and the other, which does not rely on confinement, corresponds to a local excitation of the cylinder. Our findings are experimentally testable in existing fluid laboratories and, hence, offer experimental exploration and comparison of dynamical instabilities arising from rapidly rotating boundary layers in astrophysical as well as in fluid dynamical systems.


Cardoso, V., Coutant, A., Richartz, M., & Weinfurtner, S. (2016). Detecting rotational superradiance in fluid laboratories. Physical Review Letters, 117(27), Article 271101.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 30, 2016
Publication Date Dec 29, 2016
Deposit Date Feb 27, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 27, 2017
Journal Physical Review Letters
Print ISSN 0031-9007
Electronic ISSN 1079-7114
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 117
Issue 27
Article Number 271101
Public URL
Publisher URL


PhysRevLett.117.271101.pdf (724 Kb)

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