Pseudo-Hermitian field theories possess a global continuous ``similarity'' symmetry, interconnecting the theories with the same physical particle content and an identical mass spectrum. In their regimes with real spectra, within this family of similarity transformations, there is a map from the non-Hermitian theory to its Hermitian similarity partner. We promote the similarity transformation to a local symmetry, which requires the introduction of a new vector similarity field as a connection in the similarity space of non-Hermitian theories. In the case of non-Hermitian two-flavour scalar or fermion mixing, and by virtue of a novel IR/UV mixing effect, the effect of inhomogeneous non-Hermiticity then reveals itself via anomalous dispersion, instabilities and superluminal group velocities at very high momenta, thus setting an upper bound on the particle momentum propagating through inhomogeneous backgrounds characterised by Lagrangians with non-Hermitian mass matrices. Such a non-Hermitian extension of the Standard Model of particle physics, encoded in a weak inhomogeneity of the non-Hermitian part of the fermion mass matrix, may nevertheless provide us with a low-energy particle spectrum consistent with experimentally observed properties.
|Published - 11 Jan 2024