Friday, March 9 2018
11:00 - 12:15

Alladi Ramakrishnan Hall

Dirac cones and mass terms in bosonic spectra

P. Sathish Kumar

IMSc, Chennai

The notion of Dirac cones, wherein two or more bands become degenerate at a certain momentum, is the starting point for the study of topological phases. Dirac cones have been thoroughly explored in fermionic systems such as graphene, Weyl semimetals, etc. The underlying mathematical structure in these systems is a Clifford algebra – a rule for identifying sets of matrices that span the Hamiltonian. This structure allows for the identification of suitable ‘mass’ terms to open band gaps. We will extend these ideas to bosonic systems in this talk. Due to the pseudo-orthogonal nature of eigenvectors, the algebra of matrices takes a very different form. Taking the honeycomb XY ferromagnet as a prototype, we show that a Dirac cone emerges in the magnon spectrum. A gap can be opened by a suitable mass term involving next-nearest neighbour interactions. We next construct a one-dimensional ladder model with triplon excitations. Using the new Clifford algebra, we define winding number as a topological invariant. In analogy with the Su-Schrieffer-Heeger model, topological transitions occur when the band gap closes, leading to the appearance (or disappearance) of protected edge states. Our results suggest a new route to studying band touching and band topology in bosonic systems.
Reference: arXiv:1802.08269

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