Incoherent non-Hermitian skin effect in photonic quantum walks

Longhi, Stefano
Light: Sci.& Appl. 13, 95 (1-9) (2024)

The non-Hermitian skin effect describes the concentration of an extensive number of eigenstates near the boundaries of certain dissipative systems. This phenomenon has raised a huge interest in different areas of physics, including photonics, deeply expanding our understanding of non-Hermitian systems and opening up new avenues in both fundamental and applied aspects of topological phenomena. The skin effect has been associated to a nontrivial point-gap spectral topology and has been experimentally demonstrated in a variety of synthetic matter systems, including photonic lattices. In most of physical models exhibiting the non-Hermitian skin effect full or partial wave coherence is generally assumed. Here we push the concept of skin effect into the fully incoherent regime and show that rather generally (but not universally) the non-Hermitian skin effect persists under dephasing dynamics. The results are illustrated by considering incoherent light dynamics in non-Hermitian photonic quantum walks.

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