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 Fundamental is Spin-Orbit Coupling to Topological Insulators?

I'm well aware this is a very active area of research so the best answer one can give to this question may be incomplete. Topological states in condensed matter are well-known, even if not always ...
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Simple models that exhibit topological phase transitions

There are a number of physical systems with phases described by topologically protected invariants (fractional quantum Hall, topological insulators) but what are the simplest mathematical models that ...
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What is the mathematical reason for topological edge states?

There are many free fermion systems that possess topological edge/boundary states. Examples include quantum Hall insulators and topological insulators. No matter chiral or non-chiral, 2D or 3D, ...
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Graphene and Klein bottle?

I am trying to understand graphene as a topological insulator. The spin orbital interaction in graphene is very small (~10mK?). But if we consider that, then graphene should be a topological ...
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Why are there chiral edge states in the quantum hall effect?

The most popular explanation for the existence of chiral edge states is probably the following: in a magnetic field, electrons move in cyclotron orbits, and such such cyclotron orbits ensure electrons ...
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Do topological superconductors exhibit symmetry-enriched topological order?

Gapped Hamiltonians with a ground-state having long-range entanglement (LRE), are said to have topological order (TO), while if the ground state is short-range entangled (SRE) they are in the trivial ...
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Is there a way to directly observe the spin texture of the surface states of topological insulators?

Is there a way to directly, here I means in real space, observe the interaction of the surface states of 3D topological insulators with defects (dopings and adatoms)? How to observe the spin texture ...
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Reconciling topological insulators and topological order

We make an important distinction between the topological insulators (which are essentially uncorrelated band insulators, "with a twist") and topological order (which covers a variety of exotic ...
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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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Topological band structure, difference between a sphere and a donut

Kohmoto from TKNN(Thouless-Kohmoto-Nightingale-deNijs) who described the topology of the integer quantum hall effect always stressed the importance of the 2D Brillouin zone being a donut due to ...
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How metallic surfaces states can emerge in topological insulators?

Topological insulators are materials known to have bulk insulator and metallic surface states. But, what is the origin of these metallic surface states? And how the topology of band could help the ...
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Hall conductivity from Kubo: Bulk or edge?

Using the Kubo formula, Thouless, Kohmoto, Nightingale, and den Nijs (TKNN, PRL 49 405-408 (1982)), proved that upon summing all the contributions of the filled states of an insulator, the Hall ...
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Is edge state of topological insulator really robust?

I am a little confused! Some people are arguing that the gapless edge state of Topological insulator is robust as long as the time reversal symmetry is not broken,while other people say that it is ...
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Trivial and Non-trivial topology of band structure

I don't understand the meaning of the expression "trivial topology" or "non-trivial topology" for an electronic band structure. Does anybody have a good explanation?
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Counterexamples to the bulk-boundary correspondence (topological insulators)

In the literature on topological insulators and superconductors the 'bulk-boundary correspondence' features quite heavily. One version of this conjecture says roughly: "At an interface between two ...
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Intuition on topologically nontrivial 2D-band structures?

I want to get more intuition on topologically nontrivial band structures. There's this popular 2D two-band model for a topological insulator where $H=\sum_{k}h(\boldsymbol{k})$ (see Qi, Hughes, and ...
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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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Where does the Berry phase of $\pi$ come from in a topological insulator?

The Berry connection and the Berry phase should be related. Now for a topological insulator (TI) (or to be more precise, for a quantum spin hall state, but I think the Chern parities are calculated in ...
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Descent equation and anomaly polynomial

I am just reading Ryu, Moore and Ludwig's paper on classifications of topological insulators and quantum anomaly. They are trying to relate the quantum anomaly as a signal of the presence of a ...
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Whis is the difference between charge fractionalization in 1D and 2D?

Both 1D Polyacetelene and 2D fractional quantum Hall state can support fractional excitations. But as I can see, there are some differences: the ground state of Polyacetelene breaks translational ...
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Why are Topological Superconductors hard to make?

Topological insulators (TI) have already been made in lab. Topological superconductors (TSC), being close cousins of TI, seem harder to make. Why is that? It seems that materials in connection with ...
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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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How is the topological $Z_2$ invariant related to the Chern number? (e.g. for a topological insulator)

This question relates to the $Z_2$ invariant defined e.g. for topological insulators: Is it correct to relate $Z_2$ = 1 to an odd Chern number and $Z_2$ = 0 to an even Chern number? If yes, is it ...
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What's the meaning of “topological” in “symmetry protected topological phase”

I am trying to understand the symmetry protected topological phase. Most papers only explain the symmetry but none of them explain the meaning of "topological". My question is : What's the meaning ...
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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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How can one localize the massless fermions in Dirac materials?

I noticed that finite electric potential cannot localize the low energy excitations in a graphene sheet. Is it possible to localize the massless fermions in the surface band of topological insulators ...
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“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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Measurement of topological spin

How do you measure the topological spin of an anyon? So how could an experimental setup look like? Is topological spin an observable at all?
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A question on the doped Kitaev-Heisenberg model?

Recently, some groups have studied the effects of doping the Kitaev model on honeycomb lattice(e.g.,http://arxiv.org/abs/1109.6681 and http://arxiv.org/abs/1109.4155) and their calculations show the ...
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Chiral edge state as topological properity of bulk state

As far as I know, quantum hall effect and quantum spin hall effect has chiral edge state. Chiral edge state is usually closely related with delocalization, since back scattering is forbidden. However, ...
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Equivalence classes of mappings from $T^{2}$ to an arbitrary space $X$

I was reading the paper "Homotopy and quantization in condensed matter physics", by J.E Avron et al. ( http://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.51.51). There they have classified the ...
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Topology of Fermi surface

In The universe in a Helium droplet, Grigory Volovik relates the stability of a fermi surface to topology of a Green function. There he gives the example of a Fermi gas and says that the Green ...
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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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Significance of Dirac cones in condensed matter physics

In condensed matter physics, Dirac cones can be found in graphene, topological insulators, cuprates, and iron-pnictides. This means that electrons behave as massless particles near the Dirac points. ...
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Defects in 3+1 TFTs/2+1 CFTs

I would like to know of good pedagogic references to learn about the notion of "defects" in TFTs and CFTs. I am specially interested in 3+1 TFTs (.and probably about their relation to 2+1 CFTs..) In ...
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1D topological insulator

This question is inspired by another one about the simplest model of topological insulator, where 4tnemele showed a nice two band model in the answer. I read that and am wondering if we and push that ...
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What happens when a bare 3d topological insulator is subject to a magnetic field?

Effective field theory of 3d topological insulators (TI) predict some novel electromagnetic effects. Unfortunately it require a gapped surface which is hard to achieve experimentally. Then I have two ...
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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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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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Topological insulators - Surface states have a phase?

When I look at the circle of the Dirac cone around the Dirac point of, let's say, $Bi_2Se_3$, then the electron winds around and it is true that it goes from momentum $-k$ and spin-up to $+k$ and ...
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About Dirac cones

This nice image of Dirac cones (from this article), in a ($E,\vec k$ graph) will be an introduction for several questions, in the realm of topological insulators. 1) Does the Dirac cone appears ...
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Fermion zero modes under 1+1 D Higgs spacetime vortex?

Jackiw and Rossi had a classic paper Zero modes of the vortex-fermion system (1981). In that nice-written paper, they found fermionic zero modes of Dirac operator under nontrivial Higgs vortex in 2D ...
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Are there topological non-trivial states in zero dimension?

The periodic table of topological insulators and superconductors suggests that there can be topological non-trivial phases in zero dimension in non-interacting system with certain symmetries. Are ...
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What makes a superconductor topological?

I have read a fair bit about topological insulators and proximity induced Majorana bound states when placing a superconductor in proximity to a topological insulator. I've also read a bit about ...
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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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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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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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How the Vortex containing majorana bound state is non-abelian statistics

Recently,I read some papers about non-abelian statistics of majorana fermion, such as: Majorana Returns F. Wilczek http://www.nature.com/nphys/journal/v5/n9/full/nphys1380.html and Non-Abelian ...
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$Z_2$ 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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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 ...