PT symmetry and spontaneous symmetry breaking in microwave billiards

S. Bittner, B. Dietz, U. Guenther, H. L. Harney, M. Miski-Oglu, A. Richter, F. Schaefer

We demonstrate the presence of parity-time (PT) symmetry for the non-Hermitian two-state Hamiltonian of a dissipative microwave billiard in the vicinity of an exceptional point (EP). The shape of the billiard depends on two parameters. The Hamiltonian is determined from the measured resonance spectrum on a fine grid in the parameter plane. On a curve, which passes through the EP, the Hamiltonian has either real or complex conjugate eigenvalues. An appropriate basis choice reveals its PT symmetry. Spontaneous symmetry breaking occurs at the EP.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1107.4256
Quantum Physics (quant-ph); Mathematical Physics (math-ph)

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