Anti–parity-time symmetry in diffusive systems

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Science  12 Apr 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6436, pp. 170-173
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw6259

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Making heat stand still

Dissipative oscillating systems (waves) can be described mathematically in terms of non-Hermitian physics. When parity-time symmetric systems have dissipative components, the interplay between gain and loss can lead to unusual and exotic behavior. Li et al. show theoretically and demonstrate experimentally that such behavior need not be limited to wave systems. Looking at the diffusion of heat, they devised an experimental setup comprising two thermally coupled disks rotating in opposite directions. The thermal energy transported by each disk is strongly coupled to the disk rotating in the opposite direction, providing a return path for the heat wave. For a particular rotation rate, there is an exceptional point where thermal coupling and counterrotating motion balance, resulting in the thermal energy profile being stationary over time.

Science, this issue p. 170