Special CM Seminar, Thomas Iadecola, Boston College, "Wire constructions of Abelian topological phases in three or more dimensions"

May 12, 2016, 1:30 pm3:00 pm
PCTS Seminar Room
Event Description
Coupled-wire constructions have proven to be useful tools to characterize Abelian and non-Abelian topological states of matter in two spatial dimensions. In many cases, their success has been complemented by the vast arsenal of other theoretical tools available to study such systems. In three dimensions, however, much less is known about topological phases. Since the theoretical arsenal in this case is smaller, it stands to reason that wire constructions, which are based on one-dimensional physics, could play a useful role in developing a greater microscopic understanding of three-dimensional topological phases. In this work, we present a comprehensive strategy, based on the geometric arrangement of commuting projectors in the toric code, to generate and characterize coupled-wire realizations of strongly-interacting three-dimensional topological phases. We show how this method can be used to construct pointlike and linelike excitations, and to determine the topological degeneracy. We also point out how, with minor modifications, the machinery already developed in two dimensions can be naturally applied to study the surface states of these systems, a fact that has implications for the study of surface topological order. Finally, we show that the strategy developed for the construction of three-dimensional topological phases generalizes readily to arbitrary dimensions, vastly expanding the existing landscape of coupled-wire theories.