Superfluid Motion of Light

Patricio Leboeuf 1, Simon Moulieras 1

Physical Review Letters 105 (2010) 163904

Superfluidity, the ability of a fluid to move without dissipation, is one of the most spectacular manifestations of the quantum nature of matter. We explore here the possibility of superfluid motion of light. Controlling the speed of a light packet with respect to a defect, we demonstrate the presence of superfluidity and, above a critical velocity, its breakdown through the onset of a dissipative phase. We describe a possible experimental realization based on the transverse motion through an array of waveguides. These results open new perspectives in transport optimization.

  • 1. Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques (LPTMS),
    CNRS : UMR8626 – Université Paris XI - Paris Sud