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

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