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Consistency of PT-symmetric quantum mechanics

Brody, Dorje C (2016) Consistency of PT-symmetric quantum mechanics Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical, 49 (10), 10LT03.


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In recent reports, suggestions have been put forward to the effect that parity and time-reversal (PT) symmetry in quantum mechanics is incompatible with causality. It is shown here, in contrast, that PT-symmetric quantum mechanics is fully consistent with standard quantum mechanics. This follows from the surprising fact that the much-discussed metric operator on Hilbert space is not physically observable. In particular, for closed quantum systems in finite dimensions there is no statistical test that one can perform on the outcomes of measurements to determine whether the Hamiltonian is Hermitian in the conventional sense, or PT-symmetric—the two theories are indistinguishable. Nontrivial physical effects arising as a consequence of PT symmetry are expected to be observed, nevertheless, for open quantum systems with balanced gain and loss.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Mathematics
Authors :
Brody, Dorje
Date : 29 January 2016
DOI : 10.1088/1751-8113/49/10/10LT03
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd
Depositing User : Claudio Svaluto
Date Deposited : 11 Oct 2018 09:01
Last Modified : 11 Oct 2018 09:01

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