Blast Waves in a Paraxial Fluid of Light
Abuzarli, M. and Bienaimé, T. and Giacobino, E. and Bramati, A. and Glorieux, Q.

EPL (Europhysics Letters) 134, 24001 (2021)

EPL (Europhysics Letters) 134, 24001  (2021)

We study experimentally blast wave dynamics on a weakly interacting fluid of light. The fluid density and velocity are measured in 1D and 2D geometries. Using a state equation arising from the analogy between optical propagation in the paraxial approximation and the hydrodynamic Euler’s equation, we access the fluid hydrostatic and dynamic pressure. In the 2D configuration, we observe a negative differential hydrostatic pressure after the fast expansion of a localized over-density, which is a typical signature of a blast wave for compressible gases. Our experimental results are compared to the Friedlander waveform hydrodynamical model (Friedlander F. G., Proc. R. Soc. A: Math. Phys. Sci., 186 (1946) 322). Velocity measurements are presented in 1D and 2D configurations and compared to the local speed of sound, to identify the supersonic region of the fluid. Our findings show an unprecedented control over hydrodynamic quantities in a paraxial fluid of light.