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"Tenfold way for quadratic Lindbladians: Topological edge modes in open quantum systems"

November 1, 2019 - 12:10pm
Simon Lieu

Topological band theory was developed to predict and explain robust features in the ground state electronic structure of insulators and superconductors. A topological material is characterized by gapless modes localized at the boundary of the sample, which dictate the low-energy response. What are the fate of these edge modes when the system starts to couple to an environment? In this talk, I will present a topological classification [1] applicable to open fermionic systems governed by a general class of Lindblad master equations. These `quadratic Lindbladians' can be captured by a non-Hermitian single-particle matrix which describes internal dynamics as well as system-environment coupling. We show that this matrix must belong to one of ten non-Hermitian Bernard-LeClair symmetry classes which reduce to the Altland-Zirnbauer classes in the closed limit. The Lindblad spectrum admits a topological classification, which we show results in gapless edge excitations with finite lifetimes. Unlike previous studies of purely Hamiltonian or purely dissipative evolution, these topological edge modes are unconnected to the form of the steady state. We provide one-dimensional examples where the addition of dissipators can either preserve or destroy the closed classification of a model, highlighting the sensitivity of topological properties to details of the system-environment coupling. [1] arXiv:1908.08834"

pizza and drinks served 10 min. before talk

PSC 2136