Critical theory of quantum spin chains

Ian Affleck, F. D.M. Haldane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

532 Scopus citations


The relation between quantum spin chains and conformal field theories is reexamined. Using a generalized Hubbard model representation it is argued that the critical theory for generic half-odd-integer spin antiferromagnets is the Wess-Zumino-Witten model (WZW model) with topological coupling, k=1, whereas generic integer spin antiferromagnets have an energy gap. The higher-k WZW models (which describe integrable higher spin models) are multicritical points in the space of all spin Hamiltonians. The k=1 WZW model represents a stable fixed point for many theories including WZW models of arbitrary odd k with relevant operators added, generalized Hubbard or Thirring models with an odd number of colors and the O(3) model at topological angle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5291-5300
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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