2,378 research outputs found

    Topologically stable gapless phases of time-reversal invariant superconductors

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    We show that time-reversal invariant superconductors in d=2 (d=3) dimensions can support topologically stable Fermi points (lines), characterized by an integer topological charge. Combining this with the momentum space symmetries present, we prove analogs of the fermion doubling theorem: for d=2 lattice models admitting a spin X electron-hole structure, the number of Fermi points is a multiple of four, while for d=3, Fermi lines come in pairs. We show two implications of our findings for topological superconductors in d=3: first, we relate the bulk topological invariant to a topological number for the surface Fermi points in the form of an index theorem. Second, we show that the existence of topologically stable Fermi lines results in extended gapless regions in a generic topological superconductor phase diagram.Comment: 7 pages, 1 figure; v3: expanded versio

    Single particle Green's functions and interacting topological insulators

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    We study topological insulators characterized by the integer topological invariant Z, in even and odd spacial dimensions. These are well understood in case when there are no interactions. We extend the earlier work on this subject to construct their topological invariants in terms of their Green's functions. In this form, they can be used even if there are interactions. Specializing to one and two spacial dimensions, we further show that if two topologically distinct topological insulators border each other, the difference of their topological invariants is equal to the difference between the number of zero energy boundary excitations and the number of zeroes of the Green's function at the boundary. In the absence of interactions Green's functions have no zeroes thus there are always edge states at the boundary, as is well known. In the presence of interactions, in principle Green's functions could have zeroes. In that case, there could be no edge states at the boundary of two topological insulators with different topological invariants. This may provide an alternative explanation to the recent results on one dimensional interacting topological insulators.Comment: 16 pages, 2 figure

    Topological invariants for spin-orbit coupled superconductor nanowires

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    We show that a spin-orbit coupled semiconductor nanowire with Zeeman splitting and s-wave superconductivity is in symmetry class BDI (not D as is commonly thought) of the topological classification of band Hamiltonians. The class BDI allows for an integer Z topological invariant equal to the number of Majorana fermion (MF) modes at each end of the quantum wire protected by the chirality symmetry (reality of the Hamiltonian). Thus it is possible for this system (and all other d=1 models related to it by symmetry) to have an arbitrary integer number, not just 0 or 1 as is commonly assumed, of MFs localized at each end of the wire. The integer counting the number of MFs at each end reduces to 0 or 1, and the class BDI reduces to D, in the presence of terms in the Hamiltonian that break the chirality symmetry.Comment: 4+ pages, no figure

    Knots in a Spinor Bose-Einstein Condensate

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    We show that knots of spin textures can be created in the polar phase of a spin-1 Bose-Einstein condensate, and discuss experimental schemes for their generation and probe, together with their lifetime.Comment: 4 pages, 3 figure

    Structure and consequences of vortex-core states in p-wave superfluids

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    It is now well established that in two-dimensional chiral p-wave paired superfluids, the vortices carry zero-energy modes which obey non-abelian exchange statistics and can potentially be used for topological quantum computation. In such superfluids there may also exist other excitations below the bulk gap inside the cores of vortices. We study the properties of these subgap states, and argue that their presence affects the topological protection of the zero modes. In conventional superconductors where the chemical potential is of the order of the Fermi energy of a non-interacting Fermi gas, there is a large number of subgap states and the mini-gap towards the lowest of these states is a small fraction of the Fermi energy. It is therefore difficult to cool the system to below the mini-gap and at experimentally available temperatures, transitions between the subgap states, including the zero modes, will occur and can alter the quantum states of the zero-modes. We show that compound qubits involving the zero-modes and the parity of the occupation number of the subgap states on each vortex are still well defined. However, practical schemes taking into account all subgap states would nonetheless be difficult to achieve. We propose to avoid this difficulty by working in the regime of small chemical potential mu, near the transition to a strongly paired phase, where the number of subgap states is reduced. We develop the theory to describe this regime of strong pairing interactions and we show how the subgap states are ultimately absorbed into the bulk gap. Since the bulk gap vanishes as mu -> 0 there is an optimum value mu_c which maximises the combined gap. We propose cold atomic gases as candidate systems where the regime of strong interactions can be explored, and explicitly evaluate mu_c in a Feshbach resonant K-40 gas.Comment: 19 pages, 10 figures; v2: main text as published version, additional detail included as appendice

    Black-hole horizon and metric singularity at the brane separating two sliding superfluids

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    An analog of black hole can be realized in the low-temperature laboratory. The horizon can be constructed for the `relativistic' ripplons (surface waves) living on the brane. The brane is represented by the interface between two superfluid liquids, 3He-A and 3He-B, sliding along each other without friction. Similar experimental arrangement has been recently used for the observation and investigation of the Kelvin-Helmholtz type of instability in superfluids (cond-mat/0111343). The shear-flow instability in superfluids is characterized by two critical velocities. The lowest threshold measured in recent experiments (cond-mat/0111343) corresponds to appearance of the ergoregion for ripplons. In the modified geometry this will give rise to the black-hole event horizon in the effective metric experienced by ripplons. In the region behind the horizon, the brane vacuum is unstable due to interaction with the higher-dimensional world of bulk superfluids. The time of the development of instability can be made very long at low temperature. This will allow us to reach and investigate the second critical velocity -- the proper Kelvin-Helmholtz instability threshold. The latter corresponds to the singularity inside the black hole, where the determinant of the effective metric becomes infinite.Comment: LaTeX file, 12 pages, 3 Figures, version accepted in JETP Letter

    Reentrant violation of special relativity in the low-energy corner

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    In the effective relativistic quantum field theories the energy region, where the special relativity holds, can be sandwiched from both the high and low energies sides by domains where the special relativity is violated. An example is provided by 3He-A where the relativistic quantum field theory emerges as the effective theory. The reentrant violation of the special relativity in the ultralow energy corner is accompanied by the redistribution of the momentum-space topological charges between the fermionic flavors. At this ultralow energy an exotic massless fermion with the topological charge N3=2N_3=2 arises, whose energy spectrum mixes the classical and relativistic behavior. This effect can lead to neutrino oscillations if neutrino flavors are still massless at this energy scale.Comment: RevTeX file, 5 pages, one figure, submitted to JETP Let

    Discovery of parity-violating Majorana fermions in a chiral superconductor Sr2RuO4

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    We found parity-violating Majorana fermions in a chiral superconductor Sr2RuO4. The current-voltage curves show an anomalous behavior: The induced voltage is an even function of the bias current. The magnetic field dependent results suggest the excitation of the Majorana fermions along the closed chiral edge current of the single domain under bias current. We also discuss the relationship between a change of the chirality and spontaneous magnetization of the single domain Sr2RuO4

    Near zero modes in condensate phases of the Dirac theory on the honeycomb lattice

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    We investigate a number of fermionic condensate phases on the honeycomb lattice, to determine whether topological defects (vortices and edges) in these phases can support bound states with zero energy. We argue that topological zero modes bound to vortices and at edges are not only connected, but should in fact be \emph{identified}. Recently, it has been shown that the simplest s-wave superconducting state for the Dirac fermion approximation of the honeycomb lattice at precisely half filling, supports zero modes inside the cores of vortices (P. Ghaemi and F. Wilczek, 2007). We find that within the continuum Dirac theory the zero modes are not unique neither to this phase, nor to half filling. In addition, we find the \emph{exact} wavefunctions for vortex bound zero modes, as well as the complete edge state spectrum of the phases we discuss. The zero modes in all the phases we examine have even-numbered degeneracy, and as such pairs of any Majorana modes are simply equivalent to one ordinary fermion. As a result, contrary to bound state zero modes in px+ipyp_x+i p_y superconductors, vortices here do \emph{not} exhibit non-Abelian exchange statistics. The zero modes in the pure Dirac theory are seemingly topologically protected by the effective low energy symmetry of the theory, yet on the original honeycomb lattice model these zero modes are split, by explicit breaking of the effective low energy symmetry.Comment: Final version including numerics, accepted for publication in PR
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