PerspectivePHOTONICS

Death and rebirth through nonlinear control

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Science  02 Apr 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6537, pp. 32-33
DOI: 10.1126/science.abg5441

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Summary

Nonlinear systems, characterized by outputs that are not proportional to their inputs, form the bulk of real systems in nature and applied science. Nonlinearity in a platform can substantially extend the range of its accessible functionalities, as seen in digital electronics and artificial neural networks, for example. However, there are many systems for which the impact of nonlinearity is not yet clear. This includes a complex class of systems that exhibits both topological and non-Hermitian aspects—i.e., a set of interesting properties invariant under continuous deformations and unconventional operators that describe the total system energy, respectively. In such systems, nonlinear control is, thus far, underexplored . On page 72 of this issue, Xia et al. (1) bridge the investigation of non-Hermitian topological physics with nonlinearity, leading to implications for complex systems in acoustics, plasmonics, polaritonics, and ultracold atoms.

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