Gapped boundary phases of topological insulators via weak coupling

Nathan Seiberg, Edward Witten

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139 Scopus citations


The standard boundary state of a topological insulator in 3+1 dimensions has gapless charged fermions. We present model systems that reproduce this standard gapless boundary state in one phase, but also have gapped phases with topological order. Our models are weakly coupled and all the dynamics is explicit. We rederive some known boundary states of topological insulators and construct new ones. Consistency with the standard spin/charge relation of condensed matter physics places a nontrivial constraint on models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12C101
JournalProgress of Theoretical and Experimental Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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