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Observation of non-local impedance response in a passive electrical circuit

Xiao Zhang, Boxue Zhang, Weihong Zhao, Ching Hua Lee

SciPost Phys. 16, 002 (2024) · published 4 January 2024


In media with only short-ranged couplings and interactions, it is natural to assume that physical responses must be local. Yet, we discover that this is not necessarily true, even in a system as commonplace as an electric circuit array. This work reports the experimental observation of non-local impedance response in a designed circuit network consisting exclusively of passive elements such as resistors, inductors and capacitors (RLC). Measurements reveal that the removal of boundary connections dramatically affects the two-point impedance between certain distant nodes, even in the absence of any amplification mechanism for the voltage signal. This non-local impedance response is distinct from the reciprocal non-Hermitian skin effect, affecting only selected pairs of nodes even as the circuit Laplacian exhibits universally broken spectral bulk-boundary correspondence. Surprisingly, not only are component parasitic resistances unable to erode the non-local response, but they in fact give rise to novel loss-induced topological modes at sufficiently large system sizes, constituting a new manifestation of the critical non-Hermitian skin effect. Our findings chart a new route towards attaining non-local responses in photonic or electrical metamaterials without involving non-linear, non-local, active or amplificative elements.

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