Open Quantum Systems with Loss and Gain
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We consider different properties of small open quantum systems coupled to an environment and described by a non-Hermitian Hamilton operator. Of special interest is the non-analytical behavior of the eigenvalues in the vicinity of singular points, the socalled exceptional points (EPs), at which the eigenvalues of two states coalesce and the corresponding eigenfunctions are linearly dependent from one another. The phases of the eigenfunctions are not rigid in approaching an EP and providing therewith the possibility to put information from the environment into the system. All characteristic properties of non-Hermitian quantum systems hold true not only for natural open quantum systems that suffer loss due to their embedding into the continuum of scattering wavefunctions. They appearalsoinsystemscoupledtodifferentlayerssomeofwhichprovidegaintothesystem. Thereby gain and loss, respectively, may be fixed inside every layer, i.e. characteristic of it.