Turkish Journal of Physics




We give a pedagogical introduction to time-independent scattering theory in one dimension focusing on the basic properties and recent applications of transfer matrices. In particular, we begin surveying some basic notions of potential scattering such as transfer matrix and its analyticity, multidelta-function and locally periodic potentials, Jost solutions, spectral singularities and their time-reversal, and unidirectional reflectionlessness and invisibility. We then offer a simple derivation of the Lippmann-Schwinger equation and the Born series, and discuss the Born approximation. Next, we outline a recently developed dynamical formulation of time-independent scattering theory in one dimension. This formulation relates the transfer matrix and therefore the solution of the scattering problem for a given potential to the solution of the time-dependent Schrödinger equation for an effective nonunitary two-level quantum system. We providea self-containedtreatment of this formulationand some of its most important applications. Specifically, weuse it to devise a powerful alternative to the Born series and Born approximation, derive dynamical equations for the reflection and transmission amplitudes, discuss their application in constructing exact tunable unidirectionally invisible potentials, and use them to provide an exact solution for single-mode inverse scattering problems. The latter, which has important applications in designing optical devices with a variety of functionalities, amounts to providing an explicit construction for a finite-range complex potential whose reflection and transmission amplitudes take arbitrary prescribed values at any given wavenumber.


Potential scattering, transfer matrix, complex potential, locally period potential, spectral singularity, tunable unidirectional invisibility, Born approximation, Dyson series, single-mode inverse scattering

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