Tuesday, June 25, 2013

1306.5344 (Y. Chen et al.)

Axion response in Weyl semimetals    [PDF]

Y. Chen, Si Wu, A. A. Burkov
Weyl semimetal is a new phase of matter that provides the first solid state realization of chiral Weyl fermions. Most of its unique physics is a consequence of chiral anomaly, namely nonconservation of the number of particles of a given chirality. Mathematically, this is expressed in the appearance of the so called $\theta$-term in the action of the electromagnetic field, when the Weyl fermions are integrated out. Recently, however, it has been suggested that the analogy between the chiral fermions of quantum field theory with unbounded linear dispersion, and their solid state realization with a dispersion naturally bounded by the bandwidth and crystal momentum defined only within the first Brillouin zone, holds only in a restricted sense, with parts of the $\theta$-term absent. Here we demonstrate that this is not the case. We explicitly derive the $\theta$-term for a microscopic model of a Weyl semimetal by integrating out fermions coupled to electromagnetic field, and show that the result has exactly the same form as in the case of relativistic chiral fermions.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1306.5344

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