Light propagation in periodically modulated complex waveguides

Sean Nixon, Jianke Yang

Light propagation in optical waveguides with periodically modulated index of refraction and alternating gain and loss are investigated for linear and nonlinear systems. Based on a multiscale perturbation analysis, it is shown that for many non-parity-time (PT) symmetric waveguides, their linear spectrum is partially complex, thus light exponentially grows or decays upon propagation, and this growth or delay is not altered by nonlinearity. However, several classes of non-PT-symmetric waveguides are also identified to possess all-real linear spectrum. In the nonlinear regime longitudinally periodic and transversely quasi-localized modes are found for PT-symmetric waveguides both above and below phase transition. These nonlinear modes are stable under evolution and can develop from initially weak initial conditions.
Optics (physics.optics); Pattern Formation and Solitons (nlin.PS)

Non-reciprocal mu-near-zero mode in PT-symmetric magnetic domains

Jin Wang, Hui Yuan Dong, Chi Wai Ling, C. T. Chan, Kin Hung Fung

We find that a new type of non-reciprocal modes exist at an interface between two parity-time (PT) symmetric magnetic domains (MDs) near the frequency of zero effective permeability. The new mode is non-propagating and purely magnetic when the two MDs are semi-infinite while it becomes propagating in the finite case. In particular, two pronounced nonreciprocal responses could be observed via the excitation of this mode: one-way optical tunneling for oblique incidence and unidirectional beam shift at normal incidence. When the two MDs system becomes finite in size, it is found that perfect-transmission mode could be achieved if PT-symmetry is maintained. The unique properties of such an unusual mode are investigated by analytical modal calculation as well as numerical simulations. The results suggest a new approach to the design of compact optical isolator.
Optics (physics.optics)

Stabilizing Non-Hermitian Systems by Periodic Driving

Jiangbin Gong, Qing-hai Wang

The time evolution of a system with a time-dependent non-Hermitian Hamiltonian is in general unstable with exponential growth or decay. A periodic driving field may stabilize the dynamics because the eigenphases of the associated Floquet operator may become all real. This possibility can emerge for a continuous range of system parameters with subtle domain boundaries. It is further shown that the issue of stability of a driven non-Hermitian Rabi model can be mapped onto the band structure problem of a class of lattice Hamiltonians. As an application, we show how to use the stability of driven non-Hermitian two-level systems (0-dimension in space) to simulate a spectrum analogous to Hofstadter’s butterfly that has played a paradigmatic role in quantum Hall physics. The simulation of the band structure of non-Hermitian superlattice potentials with parity-time reversal symmetry is also briefly discussed.
Quantum Physics (quant-ph)

A new non-Hermitian \(E_2\)-quasi-exactly solvable model

Andreas Fring

We construct a previously unknown \(E_2\)-quasi-exactly solvable non-Hermitian model whose eigenfunctions involve weakly orthogonal polynomials obeying three-term recurrence relations that factorize beyond the quantization level. The model becomes Hermitian when one of its two parameters is fixed to a specific value. We analyze the double scaling limit of this model leading to the complex Mathieu equation. The norms, Stieltjes measures and moment functionals are evaluated for some concrete values of one of the two parameters.
Quantum Physics (quant-ph); Mathematical Physics (math-ph)

Physics of Spectral Singularities

Ali Mostafazadeh

Spectral singularities are certain points of the continuous spectrum of generic complex scattering potentials. We review the recent developments leading to the discovery of their physical meaning, consequences, and generalizations. In particular, we give a simple definition of spectral singularities, provide a general introduction to spectral consequences of PT-symmetry (clarifying some of the controversies surrounding this subject), outline the main ideas and constructions used in the pseudo-Hermitian representation of quantum mechanics, and discuss how spectral singularities entered in the physics literature as obstructions to these constructions. We then review the transfer matrix formulation of scattering theory and the application of complex scattering potentials in optics. These allow us to elucidate the physical content of spectral singularities and describe their optical realizations. Finally, we survey some of the most important results obtained in the subject, drawing special attention to the remarkable fact that the condition of the existence of linear and nonlinear optical spectral singularities yield simple mathematical derivations of some of the basic results of laser physics, namely the laser threshold condition and the linear dependence of the laser output intensity on the gain coefficient.
Quantum Physics (quant-ph); Mathematical Physics (math-ph); Optics (physics.optics)

Analytic Solution for PT-Symmetric Volume Gratings

Mykola Kulishov, H. F. Jones, Bernard Kress

We study the diffraction produced by a PT-symmetric volume Bragg grating that combines modulation of refractive index and gain/loss of the same periodicity with a quarter-period shift between them. Such a complex grating has a directional coupling between the different diffraction orders, which allows us to find an analytic solution for the first three orders of the full Maxwell equations without resorting to the paraxial approximation. This is important, because only with the full equations can the boundary conditions, allowing for reflections, be properly implemented. Using our solution we analyze the properties of such a grating in a wide variety of configurations.
Optics (physics.optics)

Dynamics of generalized PT-symmetric dimers with time periodic gain-loss

F. Battelli, J. Diblik, M. Feckan, J. Pickton, M. Pospisil, H. Susanto

A Parity-Time (PT)-symmetric system with periodically varying-in-time gain and loss modeled by two coupled Schrodinger equations (dimer) is studied. It is shown that the problem can be reduced to a perturbed pendulum-like equation. This is done by finding two constants of motion. Firstly, a generalized problem using Melnikov type analysis and topological degree arguments is studied for showing the existence of periodic (libration), shift periodic (rotation), and chaotic solutions. Then these general results are applied to the PT-symmetric dimer. It is interestingly shown that if a sufficient condition is satisfied, then rotation modes, which do not exist in the dimer with constant gain-loss, will persist. An approximate threshold for PT-broken phase corresponding to the disappearance of bounded solutions is also presented. Numerical study is presented accompanying the analytical results.
Pattern Formation and Solitons (nlin.PS); Quantum Gases (cond-mat.quant-gas); Classical Analysis and ODEs (math.CA); Optics (physics.optics)

PT-Symmetric Optomechanically-Induced Transparency

H. Jing, Z. Geng, S. K. Özdemir, J. Zhang, X.-Y. Lü, B. Peng, L. Yang, F. Nori

Optomechanically-induced transparency (OMIT) and the associated slow-light propagation provide the basis for storing photons in nanofabricated phononic devices. Here we study OMIT in parity-time (PT)-symmetric microresonators with a tunable gain-to-loss ratio. This system features a reversed, non-amplifying transparency: inverted-OMIT. When the gain-to-loss ratio is steered, the system exhibits a transition from the PT-symmetric phase to the broken-PT-symmetric phase. We show that by tuning the pump power at fixed gain-to-loss ratio or the gain-to-loss ratio at fixed pump power, one can switch from slow to fast light and vice versa. Moreover, the presence of PT-phase transition results in the reversal of the pump and gain dependence of transmission rates. These features provide new tools for controlling light propagation using optomechanical devices.
Quantum Physics (quant-ph); Optics (physics.optics)

Singular Mapping for a PT-Symmetric Sinusoidal Optical Lattice at the Symmetry-Breaking Threshold

H. F. Jones

A popular PT-symmetric optical potential (variation of the refractive index) that supports a variety of interesting and unusual phenomena is the imaginary exponential, the limiting case of the potential \(V_0[\cos(2\pi x/a)+i\lambda\sin(2\pi x/a)]\) as \(\lambda\to1\), the symmetry-breaking point. For \(\lambda<1\), when the spectrum is entirely real, there is a well-known mapping by a similarity transformation to an equivalent Hermitian potential. However, as \(\lambda\to1\), the spectrum, while remaining real, contains Jordan blocks in which eigenvalues and the corresponding eigenfunctions coincide. In this limit the similarity transformation becomes singular. Nonetheless, we show that the mapping from the original potential to its Hermitian counterpart can still be implemented; however, the inverse mapping breaks down. We also illuminate the role of Jordan associated functions in the original problem, showing that they map onto eigenfunctions in the associated Hermitian problem.
Optics (physics.optics); Mathematical Physics (math-ph); Quantum Physics (quant-ph)

Kink scattering from a parity-time-symmetric defect in the \(\phi^4\) model

Danial Saadatmand, Sergey V. Dmitriev, Denis I. Borisov, Panayotis G. Kevrekidis, Minnekhan A. Fatykhov, Kurosh Javidan

In this paper, we study the \(\phi^4\) kink scattering from a spatially localized PT-symmetric defect and the effect of the kink’s internal mode (IM) is discussed. It is demonstrated that if a kink hits the defect from the gain side, a noticeable IM is excited, while for the kink coming from the opposite direction the mode excitation is much weaker. This asymmetry is a principal finding of the present work. Similar to the case of the sine-Gordon kink studied earlier, it is found that the \(\\phi^4\) kink approaching the defect from the gain side always passes through the defect, while in the opposite case it must have sufficiently large initial velocity, otherwise it is trapped by the loss region. It is found that for the kink with IM the critical velocity is smaller, meaning that the kink bearing IM can pass more easily through the loss region. This feature, namely the “increased transparency” of the defect as regards the motion of the kink in the presence of IM is the second key finding of the present work. A two degree of freedom collective variable model offered recently by one of the co-authors is shown to be capable of reproducing both principal findings of the present work. A simpler, analytically tractable single degree of freedom collective variable method is used to calculate analytically the kink phase shift and the kink critical velocity sufficient to pass through the defect. Comparison with the numerical results suggests that the collective variable method is able to predict these parameters with a high accuracy.
Pattern Formation and Solitons (nlin.PS)