Branch-point singularities known as exceptional points (EPs), which carry a nonzero topological charge, can emerge in non-Hermitian systems. We demonstrate with both theory and acoustic experiments an "exceptional nexus" (EX), which is not only a higher-order EP but also the cusp singularity of multiple exceptional arcs (EAs). Because the parameter space is segmented by the EAs, the EX possesses a hybrid topological invariant (HTI), which consists of distinct winding numbers associated with Berry phases accumulated by cyclic paths on different complex planes. The HTI is experimentally characterized by measuring the critical behaviors of the wave functions. Our findings constitute a major advance in the fundamental understanding of non-Hermitian systems and their topology, possibly opening new avenues for applications.
Scopus Subject Areas