Can Analogies Reveal the Laws of Physics?

Reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine’s Abstractions blog.

So-called “analogue experiments” are becoming increasingly common in physics, but do they teach or mislead?Image by National Institute of Standards and Technology / Wikicommons

oping to gain insight into domains of nature that lie beyond experimental reach—the interiors of black holes, the subtleties of the quantum realm, the Big Bang—physicists are experimenting on “analogue” systems made of fluids and

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