Friday, March 30, 2012

1203.6590 (Carl M. Bender et al.)

Negative-energy PT-symmetric Hamiltonians    [PDF]

Carl M. Bender, Daniel W. Hook, S. P. Klevansky
The non-Hermitian PT-symmetric quantum-mechanical Hamiltonian $H=p^2+x^2(ix)^\epsilon$ has real, positive, and discrete eigenvalues for all $\epsilon\geq 0$. These eigenvalues are analytic continuations of the harmonic-oscillator eigenvalues $E_n=2n+1$ (n=0, 1, 2, 3, ...) at $\epsilon=0$. However, the harmonic oscillator also has negative eigenvalues $E_n=-2n-1$ (n=0, 1, 2, 3, ...), and one may ask whether it is equally possible to continue analytically from these eigenvalues. It is shown in this paper that for appropriate PT-symmetric boundary conditions the Hamiltonian $H=p^2+x^2(ix)^\epsilon$ also has real and {\it negative} discrete eigenvalues. The negative eigenvalues fall into classes labeled by the integer N (N=1, 2, 3, ...). For the Nth class of eigenvalues, $\epsilon$ lies in the range $(4N-6)/3<\epsilon<4N-2$. At the low and high ends of this range, the eigenvalues are all infinite. At the special intermediate value $\epsilon=2N-2$ the eigenvalues are the negatives of those of the conventional Hermitian Hamiltonian $H=p^2+x^{2N}$. However, when $\epsilon\neq 2N-2$, there are infinitely many complex eigenvalues. Thus, while the positive-spectrum sector of the Hamiltonian $H=p^2+x^2(ix)^\epsilon$ has an unbroken PT symmetry (the eigenvalues are all real), the negative-spectrum sector of $H=p^2+x^2(ix)^\epsilon$ has a broken PT symmetry (only some of the eigenvalues are real).
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