What Can We Learn From Analogue Experiments?
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In 1981 Unruh proposed that fluid mechanical experiments could be used to probe key aspects of the quantum phenomenology of black holes. In particular, he claimed that an analogue to Hawking radiation could be created within a fluid mechanical `dumb hole', with the event horizon replaced by a sonic horizon. Since then an entire sub-field of `analogue gravity' has been created. In 2016 Steinhauer reported the experimental observation of quantum Hawking radiation and its entanglement in a Bose-Einstein condensate analogue black hole. What can we learn from such analogue experiments? In particular, in what sense can they provide evidence of novel phenomena such as black hole Hawking radiation?