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Exotic interactions mediated by a non-Hermitian photonic bath

  • Authors: Roccati, F; Lorenzo, S; Calajo, G; Palma, GM; Carollo, A; Ciccarello, F
  • Publication year: 2022
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Photon-mediated interaction between quantum emitters in engineered photonic baths is an emerging area of quantum optics. At the same time, non-Hermitian (NH) physics is currently thriving, spurred by the exciting possibility to access new physics in systems ruled by non-trivial NH Hamiltonians-in particular, photonic lattices-which can challenge longstanding tenets such as the Bloch theory of bands. Here, we combine these two fields and study the exotic interaction between emitters mediated by the photonic modes of a lossy photonic lattice described by a NH Hamiltonian. We show in a paradigmatic case study that structured losses in the field can seed exotic emission properties. Photons can mediate dissipative, fully non-reciprocal interactions between emitters with range critically dependent on the loss rate. When this loss rate corresponds to a bare-lattice exceptional point, the effective couplings are exactly nearest neighbor, implementing a dissipative, fully non-reciprocalHatano-Nelson model. Counterintuitively, this can occur irrespective of the lattice boundary conditions. Thus photons can mediate an effective emitter's Hamiltonian which is translationally invariant despite the fact that the field is not. We interpret these effects in terms of metastable atom-photon dressed states, which can be exactly localized on only two lattice cells or extended across the entire lattice. These findings introduce a paradigm of light-mediated interactions with unprecedented features such as non-reciprocity, non-trivial dependence on field boundary conditions, and range tunability via a loss rate. (C) 2022 Optica Publishing Group under the terms of the Optica Open Access Publishing Agreement