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Wednesday, May 1st 2019

1:25 pm:

A collection of coupled linear oscillators is widely regarded as a trivial physical system. Nevertheless, in recent years it has become evident that weak loss (or gain) in these systems can result in a variety of qualitative surprises - even in the purely linear regime. Effects that have attracted considerable attention include: PT symmetry breaking, exceptional points, non reciprocity, and topological control. I will describe a simple framework that unites these "non-Hermitian" effects and explains why topology emerges generically in damped coupled linear oscillators. I will discuss the application of these concepts in classical systems and in quantum systems. Lastly, I will describe an optomechanical experiment that offers a natural way to realize generic non-Hermiticity.

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