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Symmetry 2016, 8(9), 83;

Revisiting the Optical PT-Symmetric Dimer

Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica, Calle Luis Enrique Erro No. 1, Sta. Ma. Tonantzintla, Pue. CP 72840, Mexico
Departamento de Matemática Aplicada, Facultad de Informática, Campus Espinardo, Univesidad de Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain
Photonics and Mathematical Optics Group, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Monterrey 64849, Mexico
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sergei D. Odintsov
Received: 10 July 2016 / Revised: 6 August 2016 / Accepted: 12 August 2016 / Published: 24 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parity-Time Symmetry in Optics and Photonics)
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Optics has proved a fertile ground for the experimental simulation of quantum mechanics. Most recently, optical realizations of PT -symmetric quantum mechanics have been shown, both theoretically and experimentally, opening the door to international efforts aiming at the design of practical optical devices exploiting this symmetry. Here, we focus on the optical PT -symmetric dimer, a two-waveguide coupler where the materials show symmetric effective gain and loss, and provide a review of the linear and nonlinear optical realizations from a symmetry-based point of view. We go beyond a simple review of the literature and show that the dimer is just the smallest of a class of planar N-waveguide couplers that are the optical realization of the Lorentz group in 2 + 1 dimensions. Furthermore, we provide a formulation to describe light propagation through waveguide couplers described by non-Hermitian mode coupling matrices based on a non-Hermitian generalization of the Ehrenfest theorem. View Full-Text
Keywords: PT-symmetric dimer; optical waveguide couplers; mode coupling theory; nonlinear waveguide couplers; photonic integrated circuits PT-symmetric dimer; optical waveguide couplers; mode coupling theory; nonlinear waveguide couplers; photonic integrated circuits

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Huerta Morales, J.D.; Guerrero, J.; López-Aguayo, S.; Rodríguez-Lara, B.M. Revisiting the Optical PT-Symmetric Dimer. Symmetry 2016, 8, 83.

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