Condensed Matter Seminar - Juerg Froehlich, ETH Zurich & IAS, Princeton - Gauge Theory and Topological Phases of Matter
We study a general class of systems of condensed matter including electron liquids and atom gases. Thanks to the U(1)- and SU(2)- gauge invariance of the quantum theory of such systems, one may study their response to coupling the electric current to a vector potential and the spin current to an SU(2)- gauge field. Response equations are found by determining their effective actions (or free energies) as functionals of the U(1)-vector potential and SU(2)-gauge field (and of the metric of the sample). The physical interpretation of these fields is explained. Using only general principles gauge invariance, cluster properties of connected (current) Green functions in systems with a mobility gap, power counting the form of the effective actions is determined. This leads to a gauge theory of phases of matter complementary to the well-known Landau theory. Applications to systems exhibiting the quantum Hall and the spin Hall effect, to 3D topological insulators, and to the primordial plasma in the universe are discussed.
Location: PCTS Seminar Room
Date/Time: 02/25/13 at 1:15 pm - 02/25/13 at 2:30 pm
Category: Condensed Matter Seminar