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Title: Wave Excitation and Dynamics in Non-Hermitian Disordered Systems
Dynamic and steady-state aspects of wave propagation are deeply connected in lossless open systems ‎in which the scattering matrix is unitary. There is then an equivalence among the energy excited within ‎the medium through all channels, the Wigner time delay, which is the sum of dwell times in all ‎channels coupled to the medium, and the density of states. But these equivalences fall away in the ‎presence of material loss or gain. In this paper, we use microwave measurements, numerical ‎simulations, and theoretical analysis to discover the changing relationships among fundamental wave ‎properties with loss and gain, and their dependence upon dimensionality and spectral overlap. We ‎begin with the demonstrations that the transmission time in random 1D media is equal to the density ‎of states even in the presence of ultrastrong absorption and that its ensemble average is independent ‎of the strengths of scattering and absorption. In contrast, the Wigner time becomes imaginary in the ‎presence of loss, with real and imaginary parts that fall with absorption. In multichannel media, the ‎transmission time remains equal to the density of states and is independent of the scattering strength ‎in unitary systems but falls with absorption to a degree that increases with the strengths of absorption ‎and scattering, and the number of channels coupled to the medium. We show that the relationships ‎between key propagation variables in non-Hermitian systems can be understood in terms of the ‎singularities of the phase of the determinant of the transmission matrix. The poles of the transmission ‎matrix are the same as those of the scattering matrix, but the transmission zeros are fundamentally ‎different. Whereas the zeros of the scattering matrix are the complex conjugates of the poles, the ‎transmission zeros are topological: in unitary systems they occur only singly on the real axis or as ‎conjugate pairs. We follow the evolution and statistics of zeros in the complex plane as random ‎samples are deformed. The sensitivity of the spacing of zeros in the complex plane with deformation ‎of the sample has a square-root singularity at a zero point at which two single zeros and a complex ‎pair interconvert. The transmission time is a sum of Lorentzian functions associated with poles and ‎zeros. The sum over poles is the density of states with an average that is independent of scattering ‎and dissipation. But the sum over zeros changes with loss, gain, scattering strength and the number of ‎channels in ways that make it possible to control ultranarrow spectral features in transmission and ‎transmission time. We show that the field, including the contribution of the still coherent incident ‎wave, is a sum over modal partial fractions with amplitudes that are independent of loss and gain. The ‎energy excited may be expressed in terms of the resonances of the medium and is equal to the dwell ‎time even in the presence of loss or gain.‎  more » « less
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Physical review research
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National Science Foundation
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