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Exploring Event Horizons and Hawking Radiation through Deformed Graphene Membranes

Tommaso Morresi, Daniele Binosi, Stefano Simonucci, Riccardo Piergallini, Stephan Roche, Nicola M. Pugno, Simone Taioli
Analogue gravitational systems are becoming an increasing popular way of studying the behaviour of quantum systems in curved spacetime. Setups based on ultracold quantum gases in particular, have been recently harnessed to explore the thermal nature of Hawking's and Unruh's radiation that was theoretically predicted almost 50 years ago. For solid state implementations, a promising system is graphene, in which a link between the Dirac-like low-energy electronic excitations and relativistic quantum field theories has been unveiled soon after its discovery. Here we show that this link extends to the case of curved quantum field theory when the graphene sheet is shaped in a surface of constant negative curvature, known as Beltrami's pseudosphere. Thanks to large-scale simulations, we provide numerical evidence that energetically stable negative curvature graphene surfaces can be realized; the ratio between the carbon-carbon bond length and the pseudosphere radius is small enough to allow the formation of an horizon; and the associated Local Density Of States evaluated at horizon's proximity has a thermal nature with a characteristic temperature of few tens of Kelvin. Such findings pave the way to the realization of a solid-state system in which the curved spacetime dynamics of quantum many body systems can be investigated.