CMSA : Gravitational anomaly of 3 + 1 dimensional Z2 toric code with fermionic charges and ferionic loop self-statistics

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December 10, 2021 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
via Zoom Video Conferencing

Lukasz Fidkowski - University of Washington

Quasiparticle excitations in 3 + 1 dimensions can be either bosons or fermions. In this work, we introduce the notion of fermionic loop excitations in 3 + 1 dimensional topological phases. Specifically, we construct a new many-body lattice invariant of gapped Hamiltonians, the loop self-statistics μ = ±1, that distinguishes two bosonic topological orders that both superficially resemble 3 + 1d Z2 gauge theory coupled to fermionic charged matter. The first has fermionic charges and bosonic Z2 gauge flux loops (FcBl) and is just the ordinary fermionic toric code. The second has fermionic charges and fermionic loops (FcFl) and, as we argue, can only exist at the boundary of a non-trivial 4 + 1d invertible phase, stable without any symmetries i.e., it possesses a gravitational anomaly. We substantiate these claims by constructing an explicit exactly solvable 4 + 1d Walker–Wang model and computing the loop self-statistics in the fermionic Z2 gauge theory hosted at its boundary. We also show that the FcFl phase has the same gravitational anomaly as all-fermion quantum electrodynamics. Our results are in agreement with the recent classification of nondegenerate braided fusion 2- categories, and with the cobordism prediction of a non-trivial Z2-classified 4+1d invertible phase with action S = (1/2) w2 w3.
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