The celebrated Dirac equation gives rise to numerous relativistic effects that are far beyond our intuitive perception of nature. Unfortunately, most of these phenomena occur only under most extreme conditions, which lie far beyond the reach of current experimental capabilities. We show with our work that lattices of evanescently coupled waveguides [J. Phys. B 43, 163001 (2010)] are a superior test bed for testing relativistic theories in photonic table-top experiments. Following a striking similarity between light evolution in appropriately designed photonic lattice and the Dirac equation, we were able to show in classical experiments various peculiar effects such as Zitterbewegung of free electrons [Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 143902 (2010)], pair creation and vaccum Rabi flops [Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 110401 (2012)], massless Dirac particles [Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 023602 (2012)], relativistic random mass flips [Nature Commun. 4, 1368 (2013)], and ultrastrong pseudo-magnetic fields [Nature Photon. 7, 153 (2013)]. Only recently, our advanced understanding of integrated waveguide circuits even allowed us the first emulation of an unphysical phenomenon: charge conjugation violation of Majorana fermions [Optica 2, 454 (2015)].
|Complex three-dimensional waveguide circuit with which the evolution of an unphysical charged Majorana
fermion can be emulated [Optica 2, 454 (2015)]