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Conference Papers Year : 2019

The layered phase of anisotropic gauge theories: A model for topological insulators

Stam Nicolis

Abstract

Topological insulators are materials where current does not flow through the bulk, but along the boundaries, only. They are of particular practical importance, since it is considerably more difficult, by "conventional" means, to affect their transport properties, than for the case of conventional materials. They are, thus, particularly robust to perturbations. On the other hand, the theoretical description of their properties is, also, more involved than for the case of conventional materials, since it's harder, not only, to describe quantitatively the topological invariants, but how these can fail to be invariant, when topological properties can change. One way to accomplish such changes is by engineering defects. The defects that have been the most studied are domain walls; however flux compactifications can, also, work. We recall the domain wall construction and compare it to the construction from flux compactification. A particular way of engineering the presence of such defects is by introducing anisotropic couplings for the gauge fields. In this case a new phase appears, where matter is confined along layers and local degrees of freedom cannot propagate through the bulk. It is, also, possible to take into account the "backreaction" of the dynamics of the gauge fields on the defects and find that a new phase, the layered phase, where, while transport of local degrees of freedom is confined to surfaces, the topological properties can propagate through the bulk, constituting an example of anomaly flow.

Dates and versions

hal-02496749 , version 1 (03-03-2020)

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Stam Nicolis. The layered phase of anisotropic gauge theories: A model for topological insulators. ICNFP2019: Workshop ``Lattice Field Theories and Condensed Matter Physics'', Aug 2019, Kolymbari, Greece. ⟨hal-02496749⟩
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