Theory of hydrodynamic phenomena in optical mesh lattices

Hannah M. Price, Martin Wimmer, Monika Monika, Ulf Peschel, Iacopo Carusotto

Signatures of superfluid-like behaviour have recently been observed experimentally in a nonlinear optical mesh lattice, where the arrival time of optical pulses propagating in a pair of coupled optical fiber loops is interpreted as a synthetic spatial dimension. Here, we develop a general theory of the fluid of light in such optical mesh lattices. On the one hand, this theory provides a solid framework for an analytical and numerical interpretation of the experimental observations. On the other hand it anticipates new physical effects stemming from the specific spatio-temporally periodic geometry of our set-up. Our work opens the way towards the full exploitation of optical mesh lattices system as a promising platform for studies of hydrodynamics phenomena in fluids of light in novel configurations.