3/24/2022 – Quantum Matter in Mathematics and Physics

Speaker: Ruochen Ma (Perimeter Institute)

Title: Edge physics at the deconfined transition between a quantum spin Hall insulator and a superconductor

Abstract: I will talk about the edge physics of the deconfined quantum phase transition (DQCP) between a spontaneous quantum spin Hall (QSH) insulator and a spin-singlet superconductor (SC). Although the bulk of this transition is in the same universality class as the paradigmatic deconfined Neel to valence-bond-solid transition, the boundary physics has a richer structure due to proximity to a quantum spin Hall state. We use the parton trick to write down an effective field theory for the QSH-SC transition in the presence of a boundary and calculate various edge properties in a large-N limit. We show that the boundary Luttinger liquid in the QSH state survives at the phase transition, but only as fractional degrees of freedom that carry charge but not spin. The physical fermion remains gapless on the edge at the critical point, with a universal jump in the fermion scaling dimension as the system approaches the transition from the QSH side. The critical point could be viewed as a gapless analogue of the QSH state but with the full SU(2) spin rotation symmetry, which cannot be realized if the bulk is gapped. This talk reports on the work done with Liujun Zou and Chong Wang (arxiv:2110.08280).

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