open access publication

Article, 2022

Photonic quantum simulations of coupled PT-symmetric Hamiltonians

In: Physical Review Research, ISSN 2643-1564, Volume 4, 1, 10.1103/PhysRevResearch.4.013051

Contributors (12)

Maraviglia N. [1] Yard P. [1] Wakefield R. [1] Carolan J. [2] Sparrow C. [1] [3] Chakhmakhchyan L. (0000-0002-2305-2343) [1] [4] Harrold C. [1] Hashimoto T. [5] Matsuda N. [5] [6] Harter A.K. [7] Joglekar Y.N. [7] Laing A. (0000-0002-1066-3110) [1]


  1. [1] University of Bristol
  2. [NORA names: United Kingdom; Europe, Non-EU; OECD]
  3. [2] Niels Bohr Institute
  4. [NORA names: KU University of Copenhagen; University; Denmark; Europe, EU; Nordic; OECD]
  5. [3] Imperial College London
  6. [NORA names: United Kingdom; Europe, Non-EU; OECD]
  7. [4] Krisp
  8. [NORA names: Armenia; Asia, Central]
  9. [5] NTT Corporation
  10. [NORA names: Japan; Asia, East; OECD]
  11. [6] Tohoku University
  12. [NORA names: Japan; Asia, East; OECD]
  13. [7] Indiana University
  14. [NORA names: United States; America, North; OECD]


Parity-time-symmetric (PT-symmetric) Hamiltonians are generally non-Hermitian and give rise to exotic behavior in quantum systems at exceptional points, where eigenvectors coalesce. The recent realization of PT-symmetric Hamiltonians in quantum systems has ignited efforts to simulate and investigate many-particle quantum systems across exceptional points. Here, we use a programmable integrated photonic chip to simulate a model composed of twin pairs of PT-symmetric Hamiltonians, with each the time reverse of its twin. We simulate quantum dynamics across exceptional points including two-and three-particle interference, and a particle-trembling behavior that arises due to interference between subsystems undergoing time-reversed evolutions. These results show how programmable quantum simulators can be used to investigate foundational questions in quantum mechanics.


  • Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Bristol
  • National Science Foundation
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council