Europhys. Lett.
Volume 70, Number 2, April 2005
Page(s) 162 - 168
Section General
Published online 16 March 2005
Europhys. Lett., 70 (2), pp. 162-168 (2005)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10005-7

Inhomogeneous resonance broadening and statistics of complex wave functions in a chaotic microwave cavity

J. Barthélemy, O. Legrand and F. Mortessagne

Laboratoire de Physique de la Matière Condensée, CNRS UMR 6622 Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis - 06108 Nice cedex 2, France

received 24 January 2005; accepted in final form 24 February 2005
published online 16 March 2005

The complex (non-real) character of wave functions is ubiquitous in open or dissipative wave systems. We experimentally study the various manifestations of ohmic losses in a two-dimensional microwave chaotic cavity and show that losses located at the contour of the cavity lead to resonance widths which vary from mode to mode. We describe how this inhomogeneous damping is responsible for a spatially non-uniform phase of the wave function. We experimentally demonstrate that the inhomogeneous part of the width is related to a single parameter, which measures the amount of complexity of the wave function, and provide theoretical arguments in favor of this relation.

05.45.Mt - Quantum chaos; semiclassical methods.
05.60.Gg - Quantum transport.

© EDP Sciences 2005