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Symmetry-protected topological phases in lattice gauge theories: Topological QED2

G. Magnifico, Davide Vodola Orcid Logo, E. Ercolessi, Prem Kumar Orcid Logo, Markus Muller, A. Bermudez

Physical Review D, Volume: 99, Issue: 1

Swansea University Authors: Davide Vodola Orcid Logo, Prem Kumar Orcid Logo, Markus Muller

Abstract

The interplay of symmetry, topology, and many-body effects in the classification of phases of matter poses a formidable challenge in condensed-matter physics. Such many-body effects are typically induced by inter- particle interactions involving an action at a distance, such as the Coulomb interacti...

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Published in: Physical Review D
ISSN: 2470-0010 2470-0029
Published: American Physical Society (APS) 2019
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa48644
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Abstract: The interplay of symmetry, topology, and many-body effects in the classification of phases of matter poses a formidable challenge in condensed-matter physics. Such many-body effects are typically induced by inter- particle interactions involving an action at a distance, such as the Coulomb interaction between electrons in a symmetry-protected topological (SPT) phase. In this work we show that similar phenomena also occur in certain relativistic theories with interactions mediated by gauge bosons, and constrained by gauge symmetry. In particular, we introduce a variant of the Schwinger model or quantum electrodynamics (QED) in 1+1 dimensions on an interval, which displays dynamical edge states localized on the boundary. We show that the system hosts SPT phases with a dynamical contribution to the vacuum θ-angle from edge states, leading to a new type of topological QED in 1+1 dimensions. The resulting system displays an SPT phase which can be viewed as a correlated version of the Su-Schrieffer-Heeger topological insulator for polyacetylene due to non-zero gauge couplings. We use bosonization and density-matrix renormalization group techniques to reveal the detailed phase diagram, which can further be explored in experiments of ultra-cold atoms in optical lattices.
Issue: 1