Fractional Chern insulators and the W algebra

S. A. Parameswaran, R. Roy, Shivaji Lal Sondhi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


A set of recent results indicates that fractionally filled bands of Chern insulators in two dimensions support fractional quantum Hall states analogous to those found in fractionally filled Landau levels. We provide an understanding of these results by examining the algebra of Chern band projected density operators. We find that this algebra closes at long wavelengths and for constant Berry curvature, whereupon it is isomorphic to the W algebra of lowest Landau level projected densities first identified by Girvin, MacDonald, and Platzman. For Hamiltonians projected to the Chern band this provides a route to replicating lowest Landau level physics on the lattice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number241308
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 21 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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