Comprehensive understanding of parity-time transitions in PT -symmetric photonic crystals with an antiunitary group theory

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Abstract

Electromagnetic materials possessing parity-time symmetry have received significant attention since it was discovered that the eigenmodes of these materials possess either real-frequency eigenvalues or the eigenfrequencies appear in complex-conjugate pairs. Interestingly, some eigenstates of these systems show thresholdless PT transitions to the complex-conjugate regime, some exhibit a transition as a function of the degree of non-Hermiticity, and some show no PT transition at all. While previous work has provided some insight on the nature of PT transitions, this work lays out a general and rigorous mathematical framework that is able to predict, based on symmetry alone, whether an eigenmode will exhibit a thresholdless PT transition or no PT transition at all. Developed within the context of ferromagnetic solids, Heesh-Shubnikov group theory is an extension of classical group theory that is applicable to antiunitary operators. This work illustrates the Heesh-Shubnikov approach by categorizing the modes of a two-dimensionally periodic photonic lattice that possesses PT symmetry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number043803
JournalPhysical Review A
Volume95
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 4 2017

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