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One of the most exciting areas of science is the emerging field of spacetime analogues. This is the discipline in which physicists play around with systems that have a formal mathematical link with general relativity.

For example, changes in the way electrons move in graphene as it is cooled are identical to the changes that may have occurred in the universe soon after the big bang. So physicists can use cool graph to test theories about the universe's earliest behaviour.

Another example is the formal mathematical analogy between the behaviour of light in electromagnetic space and in spacetime. That's interesting because physicists have recently learnt how to manipulate electromagnetic space using metamaterials. That has allowed them to create the electromagnetic equivalents of quantum foam, the big bang and even the entire multiverse.

All of these experiments are jaw droppers (imagine making black hole in the lab). That's why it's hard to top them.

But Igor Smolyaninov at the University of Maryland likes to have a go. Today, he explains how he's created an experiment that models the end of time.

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Category: Science