Project Activities > Joint Research Activities > JRA3

Attacking fundamental physics questions by microkelvin condensed-matter experiments

Objectives and expected impact

Description of work

This JRA brings together the expertise of the three core institutes in the wider context of fundamental physics for the study of cosmological analogues in the laboratory. This is a rapidly expanding field in ultralow temperature physics. There have been significant contributions from all three core institutes, which have already made the first exploratory steps towards operating as one entity in this field, with many joint Grenoble-Helsinki, Grenoble-Lancaster, and Helsinki-Lancaster publications. This is a fruitful area to foster wider collaboration and integration since there is a wealth of existing expertise although currently rather dispersed. This is a field where Europe already has a significant lead.

The motivation flows from the fact that since the evolution of the Universe cannot be repeated, cosmologists can only compare the consequences of their speculations with the current state of the Universe. This relies heavily on insight into phenomena far removed from everyday experience. Thus any condensed matter analogues which can be devised are of great value in validating those ideas being applied to often otherwise untestable cosmological theories.

There are five principal areas where we propose joint integrating activities:

> Task 1: Investigating quantum vortices as model cosmic strings
> Task 2: Investigating condensate-condensate phase boundaries as analogue branes
> Task 3: Horizons, ergo-regions and rotating Black Holes
> Task 4: Q-balls in superfluid 3He
> Task 5: ULTIMA-Plus: Dark matter search with ultra-low temperature detectors