Tuesday, August 28, 2012

1208.5055 (Daniel S. Freed et al.)

Twisted equivariant matter    [PDF]

Daniel S. Freed, Gregory W. Moore
We show how general principles of symmetry in quantum mechanics lead to twisted notions of a group representation. This framework generalizes both the classical 3-fold way of real/complex/quaternionic representations as well as a corresponding 10-fold way which has appeared in condensed matter and nuclear physics. We establish a foundation for discussing continuous families of quantum systems. Having done so, topological phases of quantum systems can be defined as deformation classes of continuous families of gapped Hamiltonians. For free particles there is an additional algebraic structure on the deformation classes leading naturally to notions of twisted equivariant K-theory. In systems with a lattice of translational symmetries we show that there is a canonical twisting of the equivariant K-theory of the Brillouin torus. We give precise mathematical definitions of two invariants of the topological phases which have played an important role in the study of topological insulators. Twisted equivariant K-theory provides a finer classification of topological insulators than has been previously available.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1208.5055

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