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Exceptional points of any order in a single, lossy, waveguide beamsplitter by photon-number-resolved detection

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posted on 2023-11-30, 18:26 authored by Mario A. Quiroz-Juárez, Armando Perez-Leija, Konrad Tschernig, Blas M. Rodriguez-Lara, Omar S. Magaña-Loaiza, Kurt Busch, Yogesh N. Joglekar, Roberto de J. León-Montiel
Exceptional points (EPs) are degeneracies of non-Hermitian operators where, in addition to the eigenvalues, corresponding eigenmodes become degenerate. Classical and quantum photonic systems with EPs have attracted tremendous attention due to their unusual properties, topological features, and an enhanced sensitivity that depends on the order of the EP, i.e. the number of degenerate eigenmodes. Yet, experimentally engineering higher-order EPs in classical or quantum domains remains an open challenge due to the stringent symmetry constraints that are required for the coalescence of multiple eigenmodes. Here we analytically show that the number-resolved dynamics of a single, lossy, waveguide beamsplitter, excited by $N$ indistinguishable photons and post-selected to the $N$-photon subspace, will exhibit an EP of order $N+1$. By using the well-established mapping between a beamsplitter Hamiltonian and the perfect state transfer model in the photon-number space, we analytically obtain the time evolution of a general $N$-photon state, and numerically simulate the system's evolution in the post-selected manifold. Our results pave the way towards realizing robust, arbitrary-order EPs on demand in a single device.

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