PT-symmetric nonlinear metamaterials and zero-dimensional systems

A one dimensional, parity-time (PT )-symmetric magnetic metamaterial comprising split-ring resonators having both gain and loss is investigated. In the linear regime, the transition from the exact to the broken PT -phase is

determined through the calculation of the eigenfrequency spectrum for two different configurations; the one with equidistant split-rings and the other with the split-rings forming a binary pattern (PT dimer chain). The latter system features a two-band, gapped spectrum with its shape determined by the gain/loss coefficient as well as the interelement coupling. In the presence of nonlinearity, the PT dimer chain configuration with balanced gain and loss supports nonlinear localized modes in the form of a novel type of discrete breathers below the lower branch of the linear spectrum. These breathers that can be excited from a weak applied magnetic field by frequency  hirping, can be subsequently driven solely by the gain for very long times. The effect of a small imbalance between gain and loss is also considered. Fundamental gain-driven breathers occupy both sites of a dimer, while their  nergy is almost equally partitioned between the two split-rings, the one with gain and the other with loss. We also introduce a model equation for the investigation of classical PT symmetry in zero dimensions, realized by a simple harmonic oscillator with matched time-dependent gain and loss that exhibits a transition from oscillatory to diverging motion. This behavior is similar to a transition from the exact to the broken PT phase in higher-dimensional PT -symmetric systems. A stability condition relating the parameters of the problem is obtained in the case of a piece-wise constant gain/loss function that allows the construction of a phase diagram with alternating stable and unstable regions.

 

PT-symmetric nonlinear metamaterials and zero-dimensional systems