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Symmetry and Topology in Non-Hermitian Physics

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posted on 2023-11-30, 06:46 authored by Kohei Kawabata, Ken Shiozaki, Masahito Ueda, Masatoshi Sato
We develop a complete theory of symmetry and topology in non-Hermitian physics. We demonstrate that non-Hermiticity ramifies the celebrated Altland-Zirnbauer symmetry classification for insulators and superconductors. In particular, charge conjugation is defined in terms of transposition rather than complex conjugation due to the lack of Hermiticity, and hence chiral symmetry becomes distinct from sublattice symmetry. It is also shown that non-Hermiticity enables a Hermitian-conjugate counterpart of the Altland-Zirnbauer symmetry. Taking into account sublattice symmetry or pseudo-Hermiticity as an additional symmetry, the total number of symmetry classes is 38 instead of 10, which describe intrinsic non-Hermitian topological phases as well as non-Hermitian random matrices. Furthermore, due to the complex nature of energy spectra, non-Hermitian systems feature two different types of complex-energy gaps, point-like and line-like vacant regions. On the basis of these concepts and K-theory, we complete classification of non-Hermitian topological phases in arbitrary dimensions and symmetry classes. Remarkably, non-Hermitian topology depends on the type of complex-energy gaps and multiple topological structures appear for each symmetry class and each spatial dimension, which are also illustrated in detail with concrete examples. Moreover, the bulk-boundary correspondence in non-Hermitian systems is elucidated within our framework, and symmetries preventing the non-Hermitian skin effect are identified. Our classification not only categorizes recently observed lasing and transport topological phenomena, but also predicts a new type of symmetry-protected topological lasers with lasing helical edge states and dissipative topological superconductors with nonorthogonal Majorana edge states. Furthermore, our theory provides topological classification of Hermitian and non-Hermitian free bosons.



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