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Z(2) topological order and first-order quantum phase transitions in systems with combinatorial gauge symmetry

TitleZ(2) topological order and first-order quantum phase transitions in systems with combinatorial gauge symmetry
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsK-H. Wu, Z-C. Yang, D. Green, A. W. Sandvik, and C. Chamon
JournalPhys. Rev. B
Volume104
Date PublishedAUG 24
Type of ArticleArticle
ISSN2469-9950
Abstract

We study a generalization of the two-dimensional transverse-field Ising model, combining both ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic two-body interactions, that hosts exact global and local Z(2) gauge symmetries. Using exact diagonalization and stochastic series expansion quantum Monte Carlo methods, we confirm the existence of the topological phase in line with previous theoretical predictions. Our simulation results show that the transition between the confined topological phase and the deconfined paramagnetic phase is of first order, in contrast to the conventional Z(2) lattice gauge model in which the transition maps onto that of the standard Ising model and is continuous. We further generalize the model by replacing the transverse field on the gauge spins with a ferromagnetic XX interaction while keeping the local gauge symmetry intact. We find that the Z(2) topological phase remains stable, while the paramagnetic phase is replaced by a ferromagnetic phase. The topological-ferromagnetic quantum phase transition is also of first order. For both models, we discuss the low-energy spinon and vison excitations of the topological phase and their avoided level crossings associated with the first-order quantum phase transitions.

DOI10.1103/PhysRevB.104.085145