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Title: Semiclassical phase-space methods for Hermitian and non-Hermitian quantum dynamics
Author: Rush, Alexander
ISNI:       0000 0004 6059 2589
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2016
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In this thesis, we study semiclassical phase-space methods for quantum evolution in Hermitian and non-Hermitian systems. We first present the dynamics of Gaussian wave packets under non-Hermitian Hamiltonians and interpret them as a classical dynamics for complex Hamiltonians. We use these to derive exact dynamics for wave packets in the quadratic Swanson oscillator. We show that in the case of unbroken PT-symmetry there can be periodic divergences in this system and relate this to the fact that any operator mapping the system to a Hermitian counterpart is unbounded. We apply the semiclassical wave-packet dynamics to two further anharmonic example systems: a PT-symmetric wave guide, a version of which we propose as a filtering device for optical beams, and a non-Hermitian single-band tight-binding model, for which we use classical equations of motion to model both narrowly and widely distributed initial states. We further develop an exact quantum propagator for non-Hermitian dynamics using lattices of wave packets, whose evolution is governed by the semiclassical equations of motion. We demonstrate that this accurately reproduces quantum dynamics compared to the split operator method. Finally we study a Hermitian two-mode many-particle model for bosonic atom-molecule conversion, for which the classical phase-space structure is an orbifold. We show that standard semiclassical tools may be applied to recover features such as the dynamics, spectrum and density of states of the many-particle system.
Supervisor: Graefe, Eva-Maria ; Parry, Andrew Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral