General relativity is our fundamental theory of space, time and gravity; it successfully accounts for such awe-inspiring phenomena as black hole formation and cosmological expansion. But it is also much more than that. Its geometric formulation, based on the concept of curved spacetime, provides a powerful framework to describe a variety of condensed-matter systems, from inhomogeneous fluid flows to Bose-Einstein condensates and gradient-index dielectrics. In my view, these "gravitational analogues'' or "analogue spacetimes'', offer a splendid opportunity to push further the boundaries of general relativity itself, especially where it interfaces with (i) quantum mechanics and (ii) equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics.
My main research goal is to explore these interfaces to gain a better understanding of the relationships between fluctuations and gravity. The famous Hawking effect, whereby vacuum fluctuations are amplified and rectified into an outgoing flux of thermal particles, is a foremost example of the surprising phenomena arising at this interface. In a nutshell, I intend to make sense of the notion that "fluctuations are rectified by gravity'' in a broader sense. This investigation will lead me, I hope, to a deeper understanding of black hole thermodynamics.
I also entertain various research interests outside of gravitational physics. Recently these have included, among others: the robustness properties of banking networks (macro-economics), the statistical mechanics of Darwinian evolution (biology) and the stability properties of predator-prey dynamics (ecology). I am looking forward to discussing with anybody interested in these topics!