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Day February 18, 2014

Complex classical motion in potentials with poles and turning points

Carl M. Bender, Daniel W. Hook

Complex trajectories for Hamiltonians of the form H=p^n+V(x) are studied. For n=2 time-reversal symmetry prevents trajectories from crossing. However, for n>2 trajectories may indeed cross, and as a result, the complex trajectories for such Hamiltonians have a rich and elaborate structure. In past work on complex classical trajectories it has been observed that turning points act as attractors; they pull on complex trajectories and make them veer towards the turning point. In this paper it is shown that the poles of V(x) have the opposite effect — they deflect and repel trajectories. Moreover, poles shield and screen the effect of turning points.

Mathematical Physics (math-ph)

Optical lattices with exceptional points in the continuum

S. Longhi, G. Della Valle

The spectral, dynamical and topological properties of physical systems described by non-Hermitian (including PT-symmetric) Hamiltonians are deeply modified by the appearance of exceptional points and spectral singularities. Here we show that exceptional points in the continuum can arise in non-Hermitian (yet admitting and entirely real-valued energy spectrum) optical lattices with engineered defects. At an exceptional point, the lattice sustains a bound state with an energy embedded in the spectrum of scattered states, similar to the von-Neumann Wigner bound states in the continuum of Hermitian lattices. However, the dynamical and scattering properties of the bound state at an exceptional point are deeply different from those of ordinary von-Neumann Wigner bound states in an Hermitian system. In particular, the bound state in the continuum at an exceptional point is an unstable state that can secularly grow by an infinitesimal perturbation. Such properties are discussed in details for transport of discretized light in a PT-symmetric array of coupled optical waveguides, which could provide an experimentally accessible system to observe exceptional points in the continuum.


Quantum Physics (quant-ph); Optics (physics.optics)

Bound states in the continuum in PT-symmetric optical lattices

Stefano Longhi

Bound states in the continuum (BIC), i.e. normalizable modes with an energy embedded in the continuous spectrum of scattered states, are shown to exist in certain optical waveguide lattices with PT-symmetric defects. Two distinct types of BIC modes are found: BIC states that exist in the broken PT phase, corresponding to exponentially-localized modes with either exponentially damped or amplified optical power; and BIC modes with sub-exponential spatial localization that can exist in the unbroken PT phase as well. The two types of BIC modes at the PT symmetry breaking point behave rather differently: while in the former case spatial localization is lost and the defect coherently radiates outgoing waves with an optical power that linearly increases with the propagation distance, in the latter case localization is maintained and the optical power increase is quadratic.


Quantum Physics (quant-ph); Optics (physics.optics)