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Experimental Realization of Anti-Unitary Wave-Chaotic Photonic Topological Insulator Graphs Showing Kramers Degeneracy and Symplectic Ensemble Statistics

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posted on 2023-07-19, 16:00 authored by Shukai Ma, Steven M. Anlage
Working in analogy with topological insulators in condensed matter, photonic topological insulators (PTI) have been experimentally realized, and protected electromagnetic edge-modes have been demonstrated in such systems. Moreover, PTI technology also emulates a synthetic spin-1/2 degree of freedom (DOF) in the reflectionless topological modes. The spin-1/2 DOF is carried by Quantum Valley Hall (QVH) / Quantum Spin Hall (QSH) interface modes created from the bianisotropic meta waveguide (BMW) platform, and realized both in simulation and experiment. We employ the PTI setting to build an ensemble of wave chaotic 1D metric graphs that display statistical properties consistent with Gaussian Symplectic Ensemble (GSE) statistics. The two critical ingredients required to create a physical system in the GSE universality class, the half-integer-spin DOF and preserved time-reversal invariance, are clearly realized in the QVH/QSH interface modes. We identify the anti-unitary T-operator for the PTI Hamiltonian underlying our experimental realization. An ensemble of PTI-edgemode metric graphs are proposed and experimentally demonstrated. We then demonstrate the Kramers degeneracy of eigenmodes of the PTI-graph systems with both numerical and experimental studies. We further conduct spectral statistical studies of the edgemode graphs and find good agreement with the GSE theoretical predictions. The PTI chaotic graph structures present an innovative and easily extendable platform for continued future investigation of GSE systems.

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