July 2012
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Day July 31, 2012

Reciprocity and unitarity in scattering from a non-Hermitian complex PT-symmetric potential

Zafar Ahmed

In non-relativistic quantum scattering, Hermiticity is necessary for both reciprocity and unitarity. Reciprocity means that both reflectivity (R) and transmitivity (T) are insensitive to the direction of incidence of a wave (particle) at a scatterer from left/right. Unitarity means that R+T=1. In scattering from non-Hermitian PT-symmetric structures the (left/right) handedness (non-reciprocity) of reflectivity is known to be essential and unitarity remains elusive so far. Here we present a surprising occurrence of both reciprocity and unitarity in scattering from a complex PT-symmetric potential. In special cases, we show that this potential can even become invisible (R=0, T=1) from both left and right sides. We also find that this optical potential can give rise to a perfect transmission (T=1) this time without both unitarity and reciprocity (of reflectivity).

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