Torsion, parity-odd response, and anomalies in topological states

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We study the response of a class of topological systems to electromagnetic and gravitational sources, including torsion and curvature. By using the technology of anomaly polynomials, we derive the parity-odd response of a massive Dirac fermion in d=2+1 and d=4+1, which provides a simple model for a topological insulator. We discuss the covariant anomalies of the corresponding edge states, from a Callan-Harvey anomaly inflow, as well as a Hamiltonian spectral flow point of view. We also discuss the applicability of our results to other systems such as Weyl semimetals. Finally, using dimensional reduction from d=4+1, we derive the effective action for a d=3+1 time-reversal invariant topological insulator in the presence of torsion and curvature, and discuss its various physical consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105004
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 6 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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