Twofold transition in PT -symmetric coupled oscillators

Carl M. Bender, Mariagiovanna Gianfreda, Şahin K. Özdemir, Bo Peng, Lan Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


The inspiration for this theoretical paper comes from recent experiments on a PT-symmetric system of two coupled optical whispering galleries (optical resonators). The optical system can be modeled as a pair of coupled linear oscillators, one with gain and the other with loss. If the coupled oscillators have a balanced loss and gain, the system is described by a Hamiltonian and the energy is conserved. This theoretical model exhibits two PT transitions depending on the size of the coupling parameter ε. For small ε, the PT symmetry is broken and the system is not in equilibrium, but when ε becomes sufficiently large, the system undergoes a transition to an equilibrium phase in which the PT symmetry is unbroken. For very large ε, the system undergoes a second transition and is no longer in equilibrium. The principal result presented here is that the classical and quantized versions of the system exhibit transitions at exactly the same values of ε.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number062111
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 26 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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