Penrose Superradiance in Nonlinear Optics

Maria Chiara Braidotti, Daniele Faccio, Ewan M. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Particles or waves scattered from a rotating black hole can be amplified through the process of Penrose superradiance, though this cannot currently be observed in an astrophysical setting. However, analogue gravity studies can create generic rotating geometries exhibiting an ergoregion, and this led to the first observation of Penrose superradiance as the over-reflection of water waves from a rotating fluid vortex. Here we theoretically demonstrate that Penrose superradiance arises naturally in the field of nonlinear optics. In particular, we elucidate the mechanism by which a signal beam can experience gain or amplification as it glances off a strong vortex pump beam in a nonlinear defocusing medium. This involves the trapping of negative norm modes in the core of the pump vortex, as predicted by Penrose, which in turn provides a gain mechanism for the signal beam. Our results elucidate a new regime of nonlinear optics involving the notion of an ergoregion, and provide further insight into the processes involved in Penrose superradiance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Jul 15 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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