IAS Winter School and Workshop

Advanced Concepts in Wave Physics: Topology and Parity-time Symmetries


The purpose of this program is to explore the application of modern concepts such as topological invariants and parity-time symmetry to the manipulation of waves. Recent advances in understanding the topological characteristics of momentum space led to the emergence of a new class of materials known as topological insulators. A novel and useful property of this new class of materials is that they can support symmetry protected uninterruptable transport at their edges or surfaces which can be exploited for many advanced applications. In this program, speakers will explore the possibility of using topological notions to design artificial wave functional media (metamaterials) that supports robust transport of electromagnetic and acoustic waves that are not compromised by defects or imperfections. The program will also explore the notion of Parity-Time (PT) Symmetry and their implications in wave transport. In the language of quantum mechanics, "PT" symmetry is about going beyond the usual Hermitian Hamiltonian and explores the consequences of having a non-Hermitian operator. In the language of optics, this is equivalent to considering systems with balanced gain and loss satisfying some specific symmetry requirements. The participants will explore the possibility of realizing new devices and exciting new applications enabled by the symmetry breaking transition (exceptional points) of such systems.

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