July 2012
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Day July 7, 2012

PT-symmetric Double Well Potentials Revisited: Bifurcations, Stability and Dynamics

A.S. Rodrigues, K. Li, V. Achilleos, P.G. Kevrekidis, D.J. Frantzeskakis, Carl M. Bender

In this work we analyze PT-symmetric double-well potentials based on a two-mode picture. We reduce the problem into a PT-symmetric dimer and illustrate that the latter has effectively two fundamental bifurcations, a pitchfork (symmetry-breaking bifurcation) and a saddle-center one, which is the nonlinear analog of the PT-phase-transition. It is shown that the symmetry breaking leads to ghost states (amounting to growth or decay); although these states are not true solutions of the original continuum problem, the system’s dynamics closely follows them, at least in its metastable evolution. Past the second bifurcation, there are no longer states of the original continuum system. Nevertheless, the solutions can be analytically continued to yield a new pair of branches, which is also identified and dynamically examined. Our explicit analytical results for the dimer are directly compared to the full continuum problem, yielding a good agreement.

Pattern Formation and Solitons (nlin.PS); Quantum Gases (cond-mat.quant-gas); Mathematical Physics (math-ph)