Quantum anomalies, breakdown of classical symmetries by quantum effects, provide a sharp definition of symmetry protected topological phases. In particular, they can diagnose interaction effects on the noninteracting classification of fermionic symmetry protected topological phases. In this paper, we identify quantum anomalies in two kinds of (3+1)d fermionic symmetry protected topological phases: (i) topological insulators protected by CP (charge conjugation × reflection) and electromagnetic U(1) symmetries, and (ii) topological superconductors protected by reflection symmetry. For the first example, which is related to, by CPT-theorem, time-reversal symmetric topological insulators, we show that the CP-projected partition function of the surface theory is not invariant under large U(1) gauge transformations, but picks up an anomalous sign, signaling a Z2 topological classification. Similarly, for the second example, which is related to, by CPT-theorem, class DIII topological superconductors, we discuss the invariance/noninvariance of the partition function of the surface theory, defined on the three-torus and its descendants generated by the orientifold projection, under large diffeomorphisms (coordinate transformations). The connection to the collapse of the noninteracting classification by an integer (Z) to Z16, in the presence of interactions, is discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics