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Wednesday, September 14th 2016

2:30 pm:

Symmetry protected topological (SPT) phases are generalizations of topological band insulators; they are quantum phases of matter with a bulk energy gap and characteristic edge or surface properties. Over the past few years, exciting progress has been made in the theory of SPT phases with strong interactions, and, separately, SPT phases with crystalline symmetry. The intersection of these two directions — strongly interacting crystalline SPT phases — has potential experimental relevance but remains rather poorly understood. In this talk, I will present a general framework to classify and characterize SPT phases protected by crystalline point group symmetry. The basic insight is that all such SPT phases can be reduced to lower-dimensional topological phases with internal symmetry. This leads to a physically transparent approach that is generally applicable to bosonic or fermionic systems in any spatial dimension, without regard to the strength of interactions. I will illustrate the key ideas via discussion of a few interesting examples.

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