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Effective hydrodynamic field theory and condensation picture of topological insulators
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics.
Number of Authors: 4
2016 (English)In: Physical Review B, ISSN 2469-9950, Vol. 93, no 15, 155122Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

While many features of topological band insulators are commonly discussed at the level of single-particle electron wave functions, such as the gapless Dirac boundary spectrum, it remains elusive to develop a hydrodynamic or collective description of fermionic topological band insulators in 3+1 dimensions. As the Chern-Simons theory for the 2+1-dimensional quantum Hall effect, such a hydrodynamic effective field theory provides a universal description of topological band insulators, even in the presence of interactions, and that of putative fractional topological insulators. In this paper, we undertake this task by using the functional bosonization. The effective field theory in the functional bosonization is written in terms of a two-form gauge field, which couples to a U(1) gauge field that arises by gauging the continuous symmetry of the target system [the U(1) particle number conservation]. Integrating over the U(1) gauge field by using the electromagnetic duality, the resulting theory describes topological band insulators as a condensation phase of the U(1) gauge theory (or as a monopole condensation phase of the dual gauge field). The hydrodynamic description of the surface of topological insulators and the implication of its duality are also discussed. We also touch upon the hydrodynamic theory of fractional topological insulators by using the parton construction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 93, no 15, 155122
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-130163DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.93.155122ISI: 000373976800001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-130163DiVA: diva2:927577
Available from: 2016-05-12 Created: 2016-05-09 Last updated: 2016-05-12Bibliographically approved

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Kvorning, Thomas
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