July 2012
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Day July 6, 2012

Unbounded C-symmetries and their nonuniqueness

Carl M. Bender, Sergii Kuzhel

It is shown that if the C operator for a PT-symmetric Hamiltonian with simple eigenvalues is not unique, then it is unbounded. Apart from the special cases of finite-matrix Hamiltonians and Hamiltonians generated by differential expressions with PT-symmetric point interactions, the usual situation is that the C operator is unbounded. The fact that the C operator is unbounded is significant because, while there is a formal equivalence between a PT-symmetric Hamiltonian and a conventionally Hermitian Hamiltonian in the sense that the two Hamiltonians are isospectral, the Hilbert spaces are inequivalent. This is so because the mapping from one Hilbert space to the other is unbounded. This shows that PT-symmetric quantum theories are mathematically distinct from conventional Hermitian quantum theories.

Quantum Physics (quant-ph); Mathematical Physics (math-ph)