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Thursday, July 19, 2012
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)


Systems with balanced loss and gain: PT-symmetric lattices

Yogesh N. Joglekar

A non-Hermitian Hamiltonian that is invariant under the combined parity and time-reversal operations is called PT-symmetric. It has a purely real eigenvalues over a range of parameters, and the emergence of complex eigenvalues is called PT-symmetry breaking. In the past three years, it has become clear that far from being a mathematical curiosity, PT-symmetric Hamiltonians can model diverse systems - optical waveguide lattices, coupled LCR circuits, coupled pendulums - with balanced loss and gain. In this talk, I will discuss properties of a tight-biding lattice with PT-symmetric, source and sink impurities, and periodic or open boundary conditions. I will show that the PT-symmetry breaking is accompanied by dramatic, tunable signatures in site-dependent intensity, and a ubiquitous maximum in the transverse momentum at the PT-symmetric threshold. I will discuss the implications of our predictions, and the briefly mention the ongoing work and open questions.

Host: Avadh Saxena