Optical spectral singularities as threshold resonances
Spectral singularities are among generic mathematical features of complex scattering potentials. Physically they correspond to scattering states that behave like zero-width resonances. For a simple optical system, we show that a spectral singularity appears whenever the gain coefficient coincides with its threshold value and other parameters of the system are selected properly. We explore a concrete realization of spectral singularities for a typical semiconductor gain medium and propose a method of constructing a tunable laser that operates at threshold gain.