The chirality of exceptional points

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Exceptional points are singularities of the spectrum and wave functions of a Hamiltonian which occur as functions of a complex interaction parameter. They are accessible in experiments with dissipative systems. We show that the wave function at an exceptional point is a specific superposition of two configurations. The phase relation between the configurations is equivalent to a chirality which should be detectable in an experiment.

Received 9 April 2001 and Received in final form 19 July 2001