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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/X032256/1
Title: Controlling light with non-Hermitian Schrödinger dynamics
Principal Investigator: Graefe, Dr E
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Mathematics
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 April 2023 Ends: 31 January 2024 Value (£): 79,947
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Mathematical Physics
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
01 Dec 2022 EPSRC Mathematical Sciences Small Grants Panel December 2022 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Much of modern technology, ranging from medical applications over data transmission to novel technologies for quantum computing, rely on the control of light in optical waveguides. Thus, any improvement in the control mechanisms has a large ripple on effect. Intuitively, to maximise efficiency of any optical device, one would seek to minimise absorption and losses, and for decades (if not centuries) this has been a guiding principle in the design of control schemes. Only fairly recently has the idea of using engineered losses to actively control dynamics been explored, and has led to a spectacular amount of new applications. The mathematics underpinning these ideas is borrowed from fundamental quantum physics from a field known as non-Hermitian and PT-symmetric quantum theory. While the implementation of quantum dynamics generated by non-Hermitian Hamiltonians in waveguides has been a major success story over the last decade, many important aspects remain unexplored. In particular the application of explicitly time-dependent schemes that are of great importance in the absence of losses, has been little investigated, due to its nontrivial underlying mathematics. To propel the applications to the next level, it is imperative that the mathematical foundations of time-dependent non-Hermitian quantum systems are understood and made accessible to practitioners in physical applications.

The main goal of this grant is to categorise and then exploit the rich mathematical nature of systems described by non-Hermitian Hamiltonians with explicitly time-dependent parameters. This is a challenging task, since the quantum adiabatic theorem, that provides the foundations of most Hermitian systems, breaks down in the non-Hermitian case. Recently we were able to make substantial progress for specific model systems, using the language of dynamical systems and tools from geometry and group theory. We will build on this to realise the vision of providing the mathematical foundations for next generation non-Hermitian waveguide applications.
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Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk