Princeton Engineering’s Jason Fleischer is using lasers to shed light on the behavior of superfluids — strange, frictionless liquids that are difficult to create and study. Their technique allows them to simulate experiments that are difficult or impossible to conduct with superfluids.

The odd behavior of particles in superfluids, which move together instead of at random, has been observed in light waves that pass through certain materials known as nonlinear crystals. Fleischer’s team relied on this underappreciated correlation to use laser light as a substitute, or model, for superfluids in experiments. Their results will be published in the January 2007 issue of Nature Physics.

Read more on EurekAlert! or in the Research Highlights section of the journal Nature. Earlier this year, Fleischer was a part of a team who demonstrated that defective photonic quasicrystal could heal itself by interacting with light. The researchers published their report in the April 27 issue of Nature. Read more in this release from Technion University.