Topological insulator are materials formed by a insulator bulk and metallic surfaces with topological origin. These materials may be important for developments in Quantum Computing and Spintronics.

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How are topological invariants constructed?

I've seen several different definitions for what are called topological invariants, for instance in the context of Majorana unpaired modes, by Kitaev: http://arxiv.org/abs/cond-mat/0010440 ...
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What is the physical mechanism of the topological phase transition driven by temperature?

The topological property of topological insulators (TIs) is characterized by the non-trivial topological invariants of their band structures, such as $Z_{2}$ topological invariants. While it's clearly ...
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Questions on gapless edge excitations in symmetry-protected topological state

I am studying a one-dimensional bosonic system with $ U(1) \rtimes Z_2^T$ symmetry numerically, which might has a symmetry-proteced toplogical(SPT) phase. I have several questions about the ...
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How to find dispersion relation for 1 d topological insulator?

Is it correct to write the dispersion relation for following Hamiltonian where $\sigma_{x}$ act in spin space and $\tau_{x}$ acts in pseudo spin particle hole spin $H_{BdG} (k)=(\xi_{k}+B\sigma_{x}+u ...
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What is the different between topological order and Landau's order in a system

I have thought about topological order for a long time, but I am still confused it. Roughly speaking in my understanding, the topological state is the eigen-state of some special symmetry such time ...
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Berry phase integration [closed]

In the calculation of Berry phase for Dirac fermions one comes across the integral $$\gamma = \oint_c d\mathbf{k}\cdot i \langle u_{\pm}(\mathbf{k})|\nabla u_{\pm}(\mathbf{k})\rangle = \pi.$$ Can ...
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Which Symmetry class and what kind of topological invariant for $2D -p+ip$?

What kind of topological invariants are there for $2D-p+ip$ topological superconductor and to which symmetry class it belongs to?
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Interacting Chiral topological invariants using Green function

We can calculate the topological invariants for 1D interacting topological insulators as $n=\frac{\text{Tr}}{2\pi i}\oint_cG\partial_kG^{-1} $ where as for interacting chiral topological ...
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Does time reversal symmetry hold for (kitaev model) 1D spinless $p-$ wave superconductor?

The hamiltonian 1D spinlesss p wave superconductor can be written as $$ H=\sum_k \phi_k^\dagger \begin{pmatrix} \xi(k) & 2i\Delta \sin(k)\\ -2i\Delta \sin(k ) & -\xi(k)\end{pmatrix}\phi_k $$ ...
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What symmetry class does 1D spinless $p$-wave superconductor belongs to?

$Z_{2}$ topological invariant exist for Kitaev model. What symmetries does it conserve? And to what symmetry class it belongs to? The hamiltonian for kitaev model can be written as $$ H=\sum_k ...
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What is meant by time reversal invariant momenta (TRIM) point of the Brillouin zone (BZ) and how to determine them in 3D reciprocal space?

In literatures related to topological insulators, I have frequently encountered the term "time reversal invariant momenta" or TRIM points in the Brillouin zone of the crystal. In many literatures, I ...
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What can we learn from a band structure diagram?

Other than the band gap and its magnitude, what are the things that we can immediately learn about the properties of the material just by glancing at its band structure? Can we say something about ...
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Question about the argument for robust edge state in topological insulator

In a time reversal protected insulator ($Z_2$ insulator), we can argue that edge states are stable when there exists disorder because time revesal symmetry makes some dynamical matrix elements vanish. ...
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What is “trivial” about the trivial topological superconducting phase?

Once more I am stuck on my favorite word: "trivial". I am reading a bunch of stuff about topological superconductors at the moment and people keep talking about having to distinguish between the ...
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82 views

Does the surface topological order on the boundary of 3D topological insulator also have topological ground state degeneracy?

The boundary of a 3D topological insulator can be fully gapped (under strong interaction) by the surface topological order without breaking the symmetry (see Fidkowski-Chen-Vishwanath, ...
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84 views

How to distinguish between a topological state from from a non-topological one?

How to distinguish between a topological state from from a non-topological one? Is there any standard procedure for identifying the topological features of a given hamiltonian? In general what are the ...
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152 views

“Topological” notions in physics

I've been trying to make sense recently of the usage of 'topological' in various fields of physics, and get sort of an intuition for what this means in context. This all boils down to my main question ...
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Intuitive way to explain why the edge states of topological insulators are dissipationless?

I was just wondering if there was an intuitive way to see why the edge states of topological insulators are dissipationless. More mathematically, is there a quick proof for why the edge states are ...
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Pedagogical introduction to vertex, domain wall, and kink

Recently, Majorana fermion becomes hot in condensed matter physics. The concepts: vertex, domain wall, and kink often appear in these articles about Majorana fermion. I have no idea about the ...
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128 views

What's the difference between insulators and topological insulators?

What's the difference between insulators and topological insulators? When I asked some people about this, they told me that "because the topological insulators have gapless edge states,...", but what ...
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Topological insulator vs. topological superconductors in any dimension

My question today is simple. What is the difference between a topological insulator and a topological superconductor? How that difference depends on the dimensionality of space(time)? What is the ...
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1answer
106 views

Particle-hole symmetry and the sign of the superconducting gap

Time-reversal (TR) symmetry leads to topological insulator property. As expected, the topological invariant depends on TR (Pfaffian) operator. TR+particle-hole symmetry leads to topological ...
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How does bulk-boundary correspondence works for various cases of time-invariant system?

I was pondering this question after I read this review: M. Zahid Hasan and Charles L. Kane. “Colloquium: topological insulators.” Reviews of Modern Physics 82, no. 4 (2010): 3045. (arXiv) How do ...
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Dirac fermion in curved space

What is the connection between Dirac equation in curved space-time and effective Hamiltonian for Dirac fermion in curved space (topological insulators)? I am trying to find this connection but I am ...
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Who proposed the bulk-edge correspondence principle?

Who proposed the bulk-edge correspondence principle? The principle is often quoted in counting the number of zero energy states localized on the interface between two insulators with distinct band ...
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Regimes of Josephson junction

There are several formulas to describe critical current in Josepshon S-N-S junction mainly based on Eilenberger and Usadel equations for quasi-classical Green's functions. The starting point is the ...
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Why does proximity to a superconductor open a gap in the surface states of topological insulators

I have read in many places that the gapless surface states of 3D topological insulators are robust to perturbations which do not break time-reversal symmetry. I have recently also seen many papers ...
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Topolgical insulators order parameter

For topological insulators Is there any way to define order parameter for topological phase transitions?
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Is phosphorene a topological insulator?

All of the other "-ene" materials (silicene, germanene, stanene, and even graphene) are topological insulators. Phosphorene and these other materials all have honeycomb lattices and would appear to ...
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247 views

$Z_2$ topological insulator: odd vs. even number of edge state pairs

I am having trouble in understanding why in $Z_2$ topological insulators odd number of Kramers' pairs on one edge are protected by time reversal symmetry against elastic backscattering while even ...
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What are the prerequisites to study topological quantum computation/topological phases of the matter? [closed]

I am an undergraduate student and I would like to approach the subject of topological order with focus on topological quantum computation, I know (very) little QFT and basic algebraic topology (if ...
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259 views

Kane and Mele's argument on the existence of edge states in quantum spin Hall effect of graphene

Borrowing from Laughlin's argument on quantum Hall effect, Kane and Mele argued why there must be edge states in graphene with spin-orbit coupling in one paragraph, which is above the one with ...
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In k$\cdot$p theory, how does one calculate the bulk inversion asymmetry coefficients given in table 6.3 in Winkler?

In k$\cdot$p theory, how does one calculate the bulk inversion asymmetry coefficients given in table 6.3 in Winkler? Winkler's book on spin-orbit coupling effects is available free online. In ...
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When can we take the Brillouin zone to be a sphere?

When reading some literatures on topological insulators, I've seen authors taking Brillouin zone(BZ) to be a sphere sometimes, especially when it comes to strong topological insulators. Also I've seen ...
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Jordan Wigner Transformation in 1d Majorana chain

So, I was reading the paper by Fidkowski and Kitaev on 1d fermionic phase http://arxiv.org/abs/1008.4138. It explains the classification of 1d fermionic SPT phases with $\mathbb{Z}_2^T$ symmetry for ...
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Why p-wave superconductors are rare in nature?

I have the basic question that why so many superconducting materials are s-wave and d-wave pairing, but the p-wave superconductors are so rare in nature? An equivalent question may be that why ...
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Phase factor for nearest neighbor hopping in the Haldane Model

In Haldane's model, he imagines a staggered magnetic field in graphene where the net flux through a unit cell is zero. To model this, he has a phase factor in next nearest neighbor hopping on the ...
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621 views

Topological insulators: why K-theory classification rather than homotopy classification?

I am reading a 2009 paper by Kitaev on K-theory classification of topological insulators. In the 4th page, 1st paragraph in the section "Classification principles", he says, Continuous ...
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How much merit is there in the heuristic argument of bulk-edge relation for topological insulators?

Take 2D quantum hall insulator for example. The typical argument goes like this: We have a Hamiltonian that has translation symmetry in both directions on a infinite lattice, and we assign a integer ...
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How to derive the spin-orbit term in Kane Mele model?

The Kane mele model is a famous quantum spin hall model on honeycomb lattice (C.L. Kane and E.J. Mele, Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 226801 (2005)). The Hamiltonian is $$H = - t\sum\limits_{\left\langle ...
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How to determine the orientation of the massive Dirac Hamiltonian?

In the calculation of the Chern number within a 2D lattice model, let's take the Haldane model for example, the Chern number$=\pm1$ has 2 contributions coming from 2 Dirac points described by ...
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Which of these two different forms of spin-orbit interaction is correct?

I am seeing the spin-orbit interaction in two different ways: $\lambda [\mathbf{p} \times \nabla V]\cdot \sigma$ $\lambda [\nabla V \times \mathbf{p}]\cdot \sigma$ I don't see how these two ...
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Edge states in the “half BHZ” model

Consider the "half BHZ" Hamiltonian $${\cal H}=\sum_{\mathbf{k}}\left(A\sin(k_{x})\sigma_{x}+A\sin(k_{y})\sigma_{y}+{\cal M}(\mathbf{k})\sigma_{z}\right)c_{\mathbf{k}}^{\dagger}c_{\mathbf{k}}$$ where ...
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Topological Insulators: is HgX a special case?

I got confused by reading this article: Francois Virot, Roland Hayn, Manuel Richter, and Jeroen van den Brink. “Engineering topological surface-states: HgS, HgSe and HgTe.” arXiv preprint ...
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Experimental evidence for non-abelian anyons?

Since non-abelian anyons have become quite fashionable from the point of view of theory. I would like to know, whether there has actually been experimental confirmation of such objects. If you could ...
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TKNN invariant changes due to continuous deformation of parameter space

Naively, I would assume that a topological invariant remains invariant under continuous deformations of whatever space the invariant belongs to. In the case of topological insulators, this space is ...
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Is band-inversion a 'necessary and sufficient' condition for Topological Insulators?

According to my naive understanding of topological insulators, an inverted band strucure in the bulk (inverted with respect to the vaccum/trivial insulator surrounding it) implies the existence of a ...
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333 views

Determining spectra of edge states numerically

Normally we write a Bloch Hamiltonian $H(\mathbf{k})$ for the bulk and determine the spectrum which gives us various bands i.e we basically obtain $E=E(\mathbf{k})$ for the bulk only. Also in the ...
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A simple conjecture on the Chern number of a 2-level Hamiltonian $H(\mathbf{k})$?

For example, let's consider a quadratic fermionic Hamiltonian on a 2D lattice with translation symmetry, and assume that the Fourier transformed Hamiltonian is described by a $2\times2$ Hermitian ...
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Vortices and chemical potential in topological superconductors

I am trying to read up some review articles about Majorana physics in topological material, but I am not really familiar with the condensed matter terminology (with condensed matter in general I ...