de J. Lisle
- Detection of Chern numbers and entanglement in topological multi-component systems through subsystem winding numbers
- New Journal of Physics
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- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Theoretical Physics Amsterdam (ITFA)
Topological invariants, such as the Chern number, characterize topological phases of matter. Here we provide a method to detect Chern numbers in systems with two distinct species of fermion, such as spins, orbitals or several atomic states. We analytically show that the Chern number can be decomposed as a sum of component specific winding numbers, which are themselves physically observable. We apply this method to two systems, the quantum spin Hall insulator and a staggered topological superconductor, and show that (spin) Chern numbers are accurately reproduced. The measurements required for constructing the component winding numbers also enable one to probe the entanglement spectrum with respect to component partitions. Our method is particularly suited to experiments with cold atoms in optical lattices where time-of-flight images can give direct access to the relevant observables.
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