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Day May 21, 2012

Universal spectral behavior of \(x^2(ix)^ε\) potentials

Carl M. Bender, Daniel W. Hook

The PT-symmetric Hamiltonian \(H=p^2+x^2(ix)^\epsilon\) (\(\epsilon\) real) exhibits a phase transition at \(\epsilon=0\). When \(\epsilon\geq0$\) the eigenvalues are all real, positive, discrete, and grow as \(\epsilon\) increases. However, when \(\epsilon<0\) there are only a finite number of real eigenvalues. As \(\epsilon\) approaches -1 from above, the number of real eigenvalues decreases to one, and this eigenvalue becomes infinite at \(\epsilon=-1\). In this paper it is shown that these qualitative spectral behaviors are generic and that they are exhibited by the eigenvalues of the general class of Hamiltonians \(H^{(2n)}=p^{2n}+x^2(ix)^\epsilon\) (\(\epsilon\) real, n=1, 2, 3, …). The complex classical behaviors of these Hamiltonians are also examined.
High Energy Physics – Theory (hep-th); Mathematical Physics (math-ph); Quantum Physics (quant-ph)