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Chiral central charge from a single bulk wave function



Isaac H. Kim, Bowen Shi, Kohtaro Kato, Victor Albert


A (2+1)-dimensional gapped quantum many-body system can have a topologically protected energy current at its edge. The magnitude of this current is determined entirely by the temperature and the chiral central charge c_-, a quantity associated with the effective field theory of the edge. We derive a formula for the chiral central charge that, akin to the topological entanglement entropy, is completely determined by the many-body ground state wave function in the bulk. According to our formula, nonzero chiral central charge gives rise to a topological obstruction that prevents the ground state wave function from being real-valued in any local product basis.


Kim, I. , Shi, B. , Kato, K. and Albert, V. (2022), Chiral central charge from a single bulk wave function, arXiv, [online],, (Accessed May 19, 2024)


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Created April 28, 2022, Updated April 11, 2024