Bo Peng, Sahin Kaya Ozdemir, Fuchuan Lei, Faraz Monifi, Mariagiovanna Gianfreda, Gui Lu Long, Shanhui Fan, Franco Nori, Carl M. Bender, Lan Yang

Optical systems combining balanced loss and gain profiles provide a unique platform to implement classical analogues of quantum systems described by non-Hermitian parity-time- (PT-) symmetric Hamiltonians and to originate new synthetic materials with novel properties. To date, experimental works on PT-symmetric optical systems have been limited to waveguides in which resonances do not play a role. Here we report the first demonstration of PT-symmetry breaking in optical resonator systems by using two directly coupled on-chip optical whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) microtoroid silica resonators. Gain in one of the resonators is provided by optically pumping Erbium (Er3+) ions embedded in the silica matrix; the other resonator exhibits passive loss. The coupling strength between the resonators is adjusted by using nanopositioning stages to tune their distance. We have observed reciprocal behavior of the PT-symmetric system in the linear regime, as well as a transition to nonreciprocity in the PT symmetry-breaking phase transition due to the significant enhancement of nonlinearity in the broken-symmetry phase. Our results represent a significant advance towards a new generation of synthetic optical systems enabling on-chip manipulation and control of light propagation.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1308.4564

Optics (physics.optics); Materials Science (cond-mat.mtrl-sci); Mathematical Physics (math-ph); Classical Physics (physics.class-ph); Quantum Physics (quant-ph)

Carl M. Bender, Mariagiovanna Gianfreda

The inspiration for this theoretical paper comes from recent experiments on a PT-symmetric system of two coupled optical whispering galleries (optical resonators). The optical system can be modeled as a pair of coupled linear oscillators, one with gain and the other with loss. If the coupled oscillators have a balanced loss and gain, the system is described by a Hamiltonian and the energy is conserved. This theoretical model exhibits two PT transitions depending on the size of the coupling parameter \epsilon. For small \epsilon the PT symmetry is broken and the system is not in equilibrium, but when \epsilon becomes sufficiently large, the system undergoes a transition to an equilibrium phase in which the PT symmetry is unbroken. For very large \(\epsilon\) the system undergoes a second transition and is no longer in equilibrium. The classical and the quantized versions of the system exhibit transitions at exactly the same values of \(\epsilon\).

http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.7107

High Energy Physics – Theory (hep-th); Mathematical Physics (math-ph); Quantum Physics (quant-ph)

Fabio Masillo

In the paper “Observation of Fast Evolution in Parity-Time-Symmetric System” the authors propose a physical apparatus for the realization of a faster than Hermitian evolution. This last appears in contrast with the conclusions obtained in our paper “Some Remarks on Quantum Brachistochrone”. We will clarify this apparent contradiction and some problematic aspects of the treatment in [1].

http://arxiv.org/abs/1106.1550

Quantum Physics (quant-ph)

Fabio Masillo

We study some aspects of the Quantum Brachistochrone Problem. Physical realizability of the faster pseudo Hermitian version of the problem is also discussed. This analysis, applied to simple quantum gates, supports an informational interpretation of the problem that is quasi Hermitian invariant.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1105.3332

Quantum Physics (quant-ph)