Gravitational lens effect analogue

This is another project related to Astrophysics. Two recent articles in the American Journal of Physics presented gravitational lens analogues (Selmke, An optical n-body gravitational lens analogy, Am. J. Phys. 89(1), 11-20 (2021) and Catheline et. al., Gravitational lens effect revisited through membrane waves, Am. J. Phys. 90(1), 47-50 (2022)).

We plan to use reaction-diffusion waves, moving across spatial anomalies to visualize the gravitational lensing effect on a lab table. Possible systems are our acrylic glass molds with quasi-two-dimensional surfaces of hemispherical cuts or sin2-peaks.

Melita Wiles ’22 recorded some promising preliminary results during her Senior I.S. project.

Senior Independent Study theses (click for more info)
  • Daniel Cohen Cobos ’23: Simulating reaction-diffusion waves as an analog for gravitational lensing
NSF-REU Summer research experience (click for more info)
  • Kiyomi Sanders – University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (2022): Table-top Analogues Using Chemical Waves: Gravitational Lensing Effect
Poster presentations (click for more info)
  • K. Sanders and N. Manz: “Table-top Analogues Using Chemical Waves: Gravitational Lensing Effect”, Annual meeting of the Far West Section, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI, 2022 October 7-8