Journal article

Gauge theory of topological phases of matter

  • Fröhlich, Jürg Theoretische Physik, ETH Zurich, Switzerland - School of Mathematics, The Institute for Advanced Study - Princeton, USA
  • Werner, Philipp Department of Physics, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Published in:
  • EPL (Europhysics Letters). - 2013, vol. 101, no. 4, p. 47007
English We study the response of quantum many-body systems to coupling some of their degrees of freedom to external gauge fields. This serves to understand the current Green functions and transport properties of interacting many-body systems. Our analysis leads to a "gauge theory of states of matter" complementary to the well-known Landau theory of order parameters. We illustrate the power of our approach by deriving and interpreting the gauge-invariant effective actions of (topological) superconductors, 2D electron gases exhibiting the quantized Hall- and spin-Hall effect, 3D topological insulators, as well as axion electrodynamics. We also use the theory to elucidate the structure of surface modes in these systems.
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Département de Physique
  • English
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