Abstract

Zitterbewegung (ZB) is a phenomenon in relativistic quantum systems where the electron wave packet exhibits a trembling or oscillating behavior during its motion, caused by its interaction or coupling with the negative energy state. To directly observe ZB in electronic systems is difficult, due to the challenges associated with the small amplitude of the motion which is of the order of Compton wavelength. Photonic systems offer an alternative paradigm. We exploit the concept of pseudo parity-time (pseudo ) symmetry to study ZB in non-Hermitian quantum systems implemented as an experimentally feasible optical waveguide array. In particular, the non-Hermitian Hamiltonian is realized through evanescent coupling among the waveguides to form a one-dimensional lattice with periodic modulations in gain and loss along the guiding direction. As the modulation frequency is changed, we obtain a number of phenomena including periodically suppressed ZB trembling, spatial energy localization, and Hermitian-like ZB oscillations. We calculate phase diagrams indicating the emergence of different types of dynamical behaviors of the relativistic non-Hermitian quantum system in an experimentally justified parameter space. We provide numerical results and a physical analysis to explain the distinct dynamical behaviors revealed by the phase diagrams. Our findings provide a deeper understanding of both the relativistic ZB phenomenon and non-Hermitian pseudo- systems, with potential applications in controlling/harnessing light propagation in waveguide-based optical systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number013017
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Fingerprint

photonics
waveguides
phase diagrams
optical waveguides
wave packets
frequency modulation
parity
modulation
oscillations
propagation
energy
symmetry
electronics
wavelengths
electrons
interactions

Keywords

  • Dirac equation
  • non-Hermitian systems
  • photonic waveguide array
  • pseudo-PT symmetry
  • ZB oscillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Relativistic Zitterbewegung in non-Hermitian photonic waveguide systems. / Wang, Guanglei; Xu, Hongya; Huang, Liang; Lai, Ying-Cheng.

In: New Journal of Physics, Vol. 19, No. 1, 013017, 01.01.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wang, Guanglei ; Xu, Hongya ; Huang, Liang ; Lai, Ying-Cheng. / Relativistic Zitterbewegung in non-Hermitian photonic waveguide systems. In: New Journal of Physics. 2017 ; Vol. 19, No. 1.
@article{57e87b1a52164e5d9546c14d66a9e784,
title = "Relativistic Zitterbewegung in non-Hermitian photonic waveguide systems",
abstract = "Zitterbewegung (ZB) is a phenomenon in relativistic quantum systems where the electron wave packet exhibits a trembling or oscillating behavior during its motion, caused by its interaction or coupling with the negative energy state. To directly observe ZB in electronic systems is difficult, due to the challenges associated with the small amplitude of the motion which is of the order of Compton wavelength. Photonic systems offer an alternative paradigm. We exploit the concept of pseudo parity-time (pseudo ) symmetry to study ZB in non-Hermitian quantum systems implemented as an experimentally feasible optical waveguide array. In particular, the non-Hermitian Hamiltonian is realized through evanescent coupling among the waveguides to form a one-dimensional lattice with periodic modulations in gain and loss along the guiding direction. As the modulation frequency is changed, we obtain a number of phenomena including periodically suppressed ZB trembling, spatial energy localization, and Hermitian-like ZB oscillations. We calculate phase diagrams indicating the emergence of different types of dynamical behaviors of the relativistic non-Hermitian quantum system in an experimentally justified parameter space. We provide numerical results and a physical analysis to explain the distinct dynamical behaviors revealed by the phase diagrams. Our findings provide a deeper understanding of both the relativistic ZB phenomenon and non-Hermitian pseudo- systems, with potential applications in controlling/harnessing light propagation in waveguide-based optical systems.",
keywords = "Dirac equation, non-Hermitian systems, photonic waveguide array, pseudo-PT symmetry, ZB oscillation",
author = "Guanglei Wang and Hongya Xu and Liang Huang and Ying-Cheng Lai",
year = "2017",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1088/1367-2630/aa5127",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "19",
journal = "New Journal of Physics",
issn = "1367-2630",
publisher = "IOP Publishing Ltd.",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Relativistic Zitterbewegung in non-Hermitian photonic waveguide systems

AU - Wang, Guanglei

AU - Xu, Hongya

AU - Huang, Liang

AU - Lai, Ying-Cheng

PY - 2017/1/1

Y1 - 2017/1/1

N2 - Zitterbewegung (ZB) is a phenomenon in relativistic quantum systems where the electron wave packet exhibits a trembling or oscillating behavior during its motion, caused by its interaction or coupling with the negative energy state. To directly observe ZB in electronic systems is difficult, due to the challenges associated with the small amplitude of the motion which is of the order of Compton wavelength. Photonic systems offer an alternative paradigm. We exploit the concept of pseudo parity-time (pseudo ) symmetry to study ZB in non-Hermitian quantum systems implemented as an experimentally feasible optical waveguide array. In particular, the non-Hermitian Hamiltonian is realized through evanescent coupling among the waveguides to form a one-dimensional lattice with periodic modulations in gain and loss along the guiding direction. As the modulation frequency is changed, we obtain a number of phenomena including periodically suppressed ZB trembling, spatial energy localization, and Hermitian-like ZB oscillations. We calculate phase diagrams indicating the emergence of different types of dynamical behaviors of the relativistic non-Hermitian quantum system in an experimentally justified parameter space. We provide numerical results and a physical analysis to explain the distinct dynamical behaviors revealed by the phase diagrams. Our findings provide a deeper understanding of both the relativistic ZB phenomenon and non-Hermitian pseudo- systems, with potential applications in controlling/harnessing light propagation in waveguide-based optical systems.

AB - Zitterbewegung (ZB) is a phenomenon in relativistic quantum systems where the electron wave packet exhibits a trembling or oscillating behavior during its motion, caused by its interaction or coupling with the negative energy state. To directly observe ZB in electronic systems is difficult, due to the challenges associated with the small amplitude of the motion which is of the order of Compton wavelength. Photonic systems offer an alternative paradigm. We exploit the concept of pseudo parity-time (pseudo ) symmetry to study ZB in non-Hermitian quantum systems implemented as an experimentally feasible optical waveguide array. In particular, the non-Hermitian Hamiltonian is realized through evanescent coupling among the waveguides to form a one-dimensional lattice with periodic modulations in gain and loss along the guiding direction. As the modulation frequency is changed, we obtain a number of phenomena including periodically suppressed ZB trembling, spatial energy localization, and Hermitian-like ZB oscillations. We calculate phase diagrams indicating the emergence of different types of dynamical behaviors of the relativistic non-Hermitian quantum system in an experimentally justified parameter space. We provide numerical results and a physical analysis to explain the distinct dynamical behaviors revealed by the phase diagrams. Our findings provide a deeper understanding of both the relativistic ZB phenomenon and non-Hermitian pseudo- systems, with potential applications in controlling/harnessing light propagation in waveguide-based optical systems.

KW - Dirac equation

KW - non-Hermitian systems

KW - photonic waveguide array

KW - pseudo-PT symmetry

KW - ZB oscillation

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85011382655&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85011382655&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1088/1367-2630/aa5127

DO - 10.1088/1367-2630/aa5127

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85011382655

VL - 19

JO - New Journal of Physics

JF - New Journal of Physics

SN - 1367-2630

IS - 1

M1 - 013017

ER -