Quantum hall bilayers and the chiral sine-Gordon equation

J. D. Naud, Leonid P. Pryadko, Shivaji Lal Sondhi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The edge state theory of a class of symmetric double-layer quantum Hall systems with interlayer electron tunneling reduces to the sum of a free field theory and a field theory of a chiral Bose field with a self-interaction of the sine-Gordon form. We argue that the perturbative renormalization group flow of this chiral sine-Gordon theory is distinct from the standard (non-chiral) sine-Gordon theory, contrary to a previous assertion by Renn, and that the theory is manifestly sensible only at a discrete set of values of the inverse period of the cosine interaction (β̂). We obtain exact solutions for the spectra and correlation functions of the chiral sine-Gordon theory at the two values of β̂ at which electron tunneling in bilayers is not irrelevant. Of these, the marginal case (β̂2 = 4) is of greatest interest: the spectrum of the interacting theory is that of two Majorana fermions with different, dynamically generated, velocities. For the experimentally observed bilayer 331 state at filling factor 1/2, this implies the trifurcation of electrons added to the edge. We also present a method for fermionizing the theory at the discrete points (β̂2 ∋ e ℤ+) by the introduction of auxiliary degrees of freedom that could prove useful in other problems involving quantum Hall multi-layers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)572-610
Number of pages39
JournalNuclear Physics B
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 24 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Quantum hall bilayers and the chiral sine-Gordon equation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this