Photonic Waveguide Modelling of Non-Hermitian Hamiltonians

The branch of condensed matter physics focusing on topological phases of mat- ter has rapidly grown into a major part of the research field. A common feature of topological models is their robust edge and corner states, that are robust against perturbations of the Hamiltonian. This work studies such edge and corner states experimentally. The method of using a femtosecond laser to write waveguide patterns in glass has, since its introduction, opened many experimental doors. Most prominently it has the potential to be used to design and create intrinsic photonic integrated systems. Here, it is used to experimentally explore non-Hermiticity of Hamiltonians, that up until recently only had been investigated theoretically. Partly dissipative Su-Schrieffer-Heeger chains and Kagome lattices are written in borosilicate glass samples of and excited with 720-780 nm light to simulate the time evolution of the corresponding non-Hermitian Hamiltonians. This way, the edge and corner states of the models are distilled.