Editors' Suggestion in PRB: Full characterization of non-Abelian topological phase transitions


How can we comprehensively characterize the most general behavior of topological excitations at transitions between topologically ordered phases?

This question is addressed in a new paper by our group members Wen-Tao Xu (now at TU Munich), Jose Garre-Rubio, and Norbert Schuch, which has just been featured as an Editors' Suggestion in Physical Review B: "Complete characterization of non-Abelian topological phase transitions and detection of anyon splitting with projected entangled pair states" [Phys. Rev. B 106, 205139 (2022)].

Topological phases are systems which display complex global ordering in their entanglement. A key feature of those systems is that they exhibit exotic excitations, termed anyons, which can display highly non-trivial (so-called "non-Abelian") statistics. At transitions between such phases, those anyons can undergo rather surprising changes – maybe most remarkably, one anyon can split into two or more anyons, some of which might become confined. In the present work, the authors propose a complete set of order parameters which allow to extract the full information about how the properties of anyons change at phase transitions, and apply them to a range of such transitions.

For more details, we encourage you to have a look at the paper, either on arXiv (open access) or at the published version at Phys. Rev. B 106, 205139 (2022).

 This work has received support through the ERC grant SEQUAM.