Perturbation Theory for PT-Symmetric Sinusoidal Optical Lattices at the Symmetry-Breaking Threshold

H. F. Jones


The PT symmetric potential V0[cos(2πx/a) + sin(2πx/a)] has a completely real spectrum for λ ≤ 1, and begins to develop complex eigenvalues for λ > 1. At the symmetry-breaking threshold λ = 1 some of the eigenvectors become degenerate, giving rise to a Jordan-block structure for each degenerate eigenvector. In general this is expected to give rise to a secular growth in the amplitude of the wave. However, it has been shown in a recent paper by Longhi, by numerical simulation and by the use of perturbation theory, that for an initial wave packet this growth is suppressed, giving instead a constant maximum amplitude. We revisit this problem by developing the perturbation theory further. We verify that the results found by Longhi persist to second order, and with different input wave packets we are able to see the seeds in perturbation theory of the phenomenon of birefringence first discovered by El-Ganainy et al.


pseudo-Hermitian quantum mechanics; optical lattices; perturbation theory

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ISSN 1210-2709 (Print)
ISSN 1805-2363 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague