Reversing the Pump-Dependence of a Laser at an Exceptional Point

M. Brandstetter, M. Liertzer, C. Deutsch, P. Klang, J. Schöberl, H. E. Türeci, G. Strasser, K. Unterrainer, S. Rotter

When two resonant modes in a system with gain or loss coalesce in both their resonance position and their width, a so-called “Exceptional Point” occurs which acts as a source of non-trivial physics in a diverse range of systems. Lasers provide a natural setting to study such “non-Hermitian degeneracies”, since they feature resonant modes and a gain material as their basic constituents. Here we show that Exceptional Points can be conveniently induced in a photonic molecule laser by a suitable variation of the applied pump. Using a pair of coupled micro-disk quantum cascade lasers, we demonstrate that in the vicinity of these Exceptional Points the laser shows a characteristic reversal of its pump-dependence, including a strongly decreasing intensity of the emitted laser light for increasing pump power. This result establishes photonic molecule lasers as promising tools for exploring many further fascinating aspects of Exceptional Points, like a strong line-width enhancement and the coherent perfect absorption of light in their vicinity as well as non-trivial mode-switching and the accumulation of a geometric phase when encircling an Exceptional Point parametrically.
Optics (physics.optics); Mesoscale and Nanoscale Physics (cond-mat.mes-hall); Chaotic Dynamics (nlin.CD)

Coherent perfect absorption with and without lasing in complex potentials

Zafar Ahmed

We study the coherent scattering from complex potentials to find that the coherent perfect absorption (CPA) without lasing is not possible in the PT-symmetric domain as the s-matrix is such that \(|\det S(k)|=1\). We confirm that in the domain of broken PT-symmetry\(|\det S(k)|\) can become indeterminate 0/0 at the spectral singularity (SS), k=k∗, of the potential signifying CPA with lasing at threshold gain. We also find that in the domain of unbroken symmetry (when the potential has real discrete spectrum) neither SS nor CPA can occur. In this, regard, we find that exactly solvable Scarf II potential is the unique model that can exhibit these novel phenomena and their subtleties analytically and explicitly. However, we show that the other numerically solved models also behave similarly.

Quantum Physics (quant-ph)

Spectral Singularities and CPA-Laser Action in a Weakly Nonlinear PT-Symmetric Bilayer Slab

Ali Mostafazadeh

We study optical spectral singularities of a weakly nonlinear PT-symmetric bilinear planar slab of optically active material. In particular, we derive the lasing threshold condition and calculate the laser output intensity. These reveal the following unexpected features of the system: 1. For the case that the real part of the refractive index η of the layers are equal to unity, the presence of the lossy layer decreases the threshold gain; 2. For the more commonly encountered situations when η−1 is much larger than the magnitude of the imaginary part of the refractive index, the threshold gain coefficient is a function of η that has a local minimum. The latter is in sharp contrast to the threshold gain coefficient of a homogeneous slab of gain material which is a decreasing function of η. We use these results to comment on the effect of nonlinearity on the prospects of using this system as a CPA-laser.
Quantum Physics (quant-ph); Mathematical Physics (math-ph); Optics (physics.optics)

Exceptional points and lasing self-termination in photonic molecules

Ramy El-Ganainy, Mercedeh Khajavikhan, Li Ge

We investigate the rich physics of photonic molecule lasers using a non-Hermitian dimer model. We show that several interesting features, predicted recently using a rigorous steady state ab-initio laser theory (SALT), can be captured by this toy model. In particular, we demonstrate the central role played by exceptional points in both pump-selective lasing and laser self-terminations phenomena. Due to its transparent mathematical structure, our model provides a lucid understanding for how different physical parameters (optical loss, modal coupling between microcavities and pump profiles) affect the lasing action. Interestingly, our analysis also confirms that, for frequency mismatched cavities, operation in the proximity of exceptional points (without actually crossing the square root singularities) can still lead to laser self-termination. We confirm this latter prediction for two coupled slab cavities using scattering matrix analysis and SALT technique. In addition, we employ our model to investigate the pump-controlled lasing action and we show that emission patterns are governed by the locations of exceptional points in the gain parameter space. Finally we extend these results to multi-cavity photonic molecules, where we found the existence of higher-order EPs and pump-induced localization.

Optics (physics.optics)

Mathematical and physical aspects of complex symmetric operators

Stephan Ramon Garcia, Emil Prodan, Mihai Putinar

Recent advances in the theory of complex symmetric operators are presented and related to current studies in non-hermitian quantum mechanics. The main themes of the survey are: the structure of complex symmetric operators, C-selfadjoint extensions of C-symmetric unbounded operators, resolvent estimates, reality of spectrum, bases of C-orthonormal vectors, and conjugate-linear symmetric operators. The main results are complemented by a variety of natural examples arising in field theory, quantum physics, and complex variables.
Functional Analysis (math.FA); Other Condensed Matter (cond-mat.other); Mathematical Physics (math-ph); Operator Algebras (math.OA); Spectral Theory (math.SP)

Non-Hermitian PT-symmetric relativistic Quantum mechanics with a maximal mass in an external magnetic field


Starting with the modified Dirac equations for free massive particles with the γ5-extension of the physical mass \(m\to m_1+\gamma_5m_2\), we consider equations of relativistic quantum mechanics in the presence of an external electromagnetic field. The new approach is developing on the basis of existing methods for study the unbroken PT symmetry of Non-Hermitian Hamiltonians. The paper shows that this modified model contains the definition of the mass parameter, which may use as the determination of the magnitude scaling of energy M. Obviously that the transition to the standard approach is valid when small in comparison with M energies and momenta. Formally, this limit is performed when \(M\to\infty\), which simultaneously should correspond to the transition to a Hermitian limit \(m2\to0\). Inequality \(m\leq M\) may be considered and as the restriction of the mass spectrum of fermions considered in the model. Within of this approach, the effects of possible observability mass parameters: \(m_1, m_2, M\) are investigated taking into account the interaction of the magnetic field with charged fermions together with the accounting of their anomalous magnetic moments.
High Energy Physics – Theory (hep-th); High Energy Physics – Phenomenology (hep-ph); Mathematical Physics (math-ph); Quantum Physics (quant-ph)

Dipolar Bose-Einstein condensates in a PT-symmetric double-well potential

Rüdiger Fortanier, Dennis Dast, Daniel Haag, Holger Cartarius, Jörg Main, Günter Wunner

We investigate dipolar Bose-Einstein condensates in a complex external double-well potential that features a combined parity and time-reversal symmetry. On the basis of the Gross-Pitaevskii equation we study the effects of the long-ranged anisotropic dipole-dipole interaction on ground and excited states by the use of a time-dependent variational approach. We show that the property of a similar non-dipolar condensate to possess real energy eigenvalues in certain parameter ranges is preserved despite the inclusion of this nonlinear interaction. Furthermore, we present states that break the PT symmetry and investigate the stability of the distinct stationary solutions. In our dynamical simulations we reveal a complex stabilization mechanism for PT-symmetric, as well as for PT-broken states which are, in principle, unstable with respect to small perturbations.
Quantum Physics (quant-ph); Quantum Gases (cond-mat.quant-gas); Chaotic Dynamics (nlin.CD)

Cumulants of time-integrated observables of closed quantum systems and PT-symmetry, with an application to the quantum Ising chain

James M. Hickey, Emanuele Levi, Juan P. Garrahan

We study the connection between the cumulants of a time-integrated observable of a quantum system and the PT-symmetry properties of the non-Hermitian deformation of the Hamiltonian from which the generating function of these cumulants is obtained. This non-Hermitian Hamiltonian can display regimes of broken and of unbroken PT-symmetry, depending on the parameters of the problem and on the counting field that sets the strength of the non-Hermitian perturbation. This in turn determines the analytic structure of the long-time cumulant generating function (CGF) for the time-integrated observable. We consider in particular the case of the time-integrated (longitudinal) magnetisation in the one-dimensional Ising model in a transverse field. We show that its long-time CGF is singular on a curve in the magnetic field/counting field plane that delimits a regime where PT-symmetry is spontaneously broken (which includes the static ferromagnetic phase), from one where it is preserved (which includes the static paramagnetic phase). In the paramagnetic phase, conservation of PT -symmetry implies that all cumulants are sub-linear in time, a behaviour usually associated to the absence of decorrelation.
Statistical Mechanics (cond-mat.stat-mech); Quantum Physics (quant-ph)

Bulk Vortex and Horseshoe Surface Modes in Parity-Time Symmetric Media

Huagang Li, Xing Zhu, Zhiwei Shi, Boris A. Malomed, Tianshu Lai, Chaohong Lee

We demonstrate that in-bulk vortex localized modes, and their surface half-vortex (“horseshoe”) counterparts (which were not reported before in truncated settings) self-trap in two-dimensional (2D) nonlinear optical systems with PT-symmetric photonic lattices (PLs). The respective stability regions are identified in the underlying parameter space. The in-bulk states are related to truncated nonlinear Bloch waves in gaps of the PL-induced spectrum. The basic vortex and horseshoe modes are built, severally, of four and three beams with appropriate phase shifts between them. Their stable complex counterparts, built of up to 12 beams, are reported too.
Optics (physics.optics); Pattern Formation and Solitons (nlin.PS)

Discrete spectrum of thin PT-symmetric waveguide

Denis Borisov

In a thin multidimensional layer we consider a second order differential PT-symmetric operator. The operator is of rather general form and its coefficients are arbitrary functions depending both on slow and fast variables. The PT-symmetry of the operator is ensured by the boundary conditions of Robin type with pure imaginary coefficient. In the work we determine the limiting operator, prove the uniform resolvent convergence of the perturbed operator to the limiting one, and derive the estimates for the rates of convergence. We establish the convergence of the spectrum of perturbed operator to that of the limiting one. For the perturbed eigenvalues converging to the limiting discrete ones we prove that they are real and construct their complete asymptotic expansions. We also obtain the complete asymptotic expansions for the associated eigenfunctions.

Spectral Theory (math.SP); Mathematical Physics (math-ph); Analysis of PDEs (math.AP)