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General theory of spontaneous emission near exceptional points

Author(s): Pick, A; Zhen, B; Miller, OD; Hsu, CW; Hernandez, F; et al

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Abstract: We present a general theory of spontaneous emission at exceptional points (EPs)- exotic degeneracies in non-Hermitian systems. Our theory extends beyond spontaneous emission to any light-matter interaction described by the local density of states (e.g., absorption, thermal emission, and nonlinear frequency conversion). Whereas traditional spontaneous-emission theories imply infinite enhancement factors at EPs, we derive finite bounds on the enhancement, proving maximum enhancement of 4 in passive systems with second-order EPs and significantly larger enhancements (exceeding 400×) in gain-aided and higher-order EP systems. In contrast to non-degenerate resonances, which are typically associated with Lorentzian emission curves in systems with low losses, EPs are associated with non-Lorentzian lineshapes, leading to enhancements that scale nonlinearly with the resonance quality factor. Our theory can be applied to dispersive media, with proper normalization of the resonant modes.
Publication Date: 2017
Citation: Pick, A, Zhen, B, Miller, OD, Hsu, CW, Hernandez, F, Rodriguez, AW, Soljacic, M, Johnson, SG. (2017). General theory of spontaneous emission near exceptional points. Optics Express, 25 (12325 - 12348. doi:10.1364/OE.25.012325
DOI: doi:10.1364/OE.25.012325
Pages: 12325 - 12348
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Optics Express
Version: Final published version. This is an open access article.

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