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PT symmetry and spontaneous symmetry breaking in microwave billiards
Bittner, S.; Dietz, B.; Günther, U.; Harney, H. L.; Miski-Oglu, M.; Richter, A.; Schäfer, F.
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.
Keywords: PT symmetry; microwave billiard; microwave cavity; PT phase transition; exceptional point; spontaneous symmetry breaking
Physical Review Letters 108(2012), 024101