# A General Theorem Relating the Bulk Topological Number to Edge States in Two-dimensional Insulators

## Abstract

We prove a general theorem on the relation between the bulk topological quantum number and the edge states in two dimensional insulators. It is shown that whenever there is a topological order in bulk, characterized by a non-vanishing Chern number, even if it is defined for a non-conserved quantity such as spin in the case of the spin Hall effect, one can always infer the existence of gapless edge states under certain twisted boundary conditions that allow tunneling between edges. This relation is robust against disorder and interactions, and it provides a unified topological classification of both the quantum (charge) Hall effect and the quantum spin Hall effect. In addition, it reconciles the apparent conflict between the stability of bulk topological order and the instability of gapless edge states in systems with open boundaries (as known happening in the spin Hall case). The consequences of time reversal invariance for bulk topological order and edge state dynamics are further studied in the present framework.

- Authors:

- Publication Date:

- Research Org.:
- Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC)

- Sponsoring Org.:
- USDOE

- OSTI Identifier:
- 970439

- Report Number(s):
- SLAC-PUB-13913

TRN: US201002%%1142

- DOE Contract Number:
- AC02-76SF00515

- Resource Type:
- Journal Article

- Journal Name:
- Submitted to Physical Review

- Additional Journal Information:
- Journal Name: Submitted to Physical Review

- Country of Publication:
- United States

- Language:
- English

- Subject:
- 71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; BOUNDARY CONDITIONS; CLASSIFICATION; HALL EFFECT; INSTABILITY; QUANTUM NUMBERS; SPIN; STABILITY; T INVARIANCE; TUNNELING; Other,MATSCI

### Citation Formats

```
Qi, Xiao-Liang, /Tsinghua U., Beijing /Stanford U., Phys. Dept., Wu, Yong-Shi, /Utah U., Zhang, Shou-Cheng, and /Stanford U., Phys. Dept. /Tsinghua U., Beijing.
```*A General Theorem Relating the Bulk Topological Number to Edge States in Two-dimensional Insulators*. United States: N. p., 2010.
Web.

```
Qi, Xiao-Liang, /Tsinghua U., Beijing /Stanford U., Phys. Dept., Wu, Yong-Shi, /Utah U., Zhang, Shou-Cheng, & /Stanford U., Phys. Dept. /Tsinghua U., Beijing.
```*A General Theorem Relating the Bulk Topological Number to Edge States in Two-dimensional Insulators*. United States.

```
Qi, Xiao-Liang, /Tsinghua U., Beijing /Stanford U., Phys. Dept., Wu, Yong-Shi, /Utah U., Zhang, Shou-Cheng, and /Stanford U., Phys. Dept. /Tsinghua U., Beijing. Fri .
"A General Theorem Relating the Bulk Topological Number to Edge States in Two-dimensional Insulators". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/970439.
```

```
@article{osti_970439,
```

title = {A General Theorem Relating the Bulk Topological Number to Edge States in Two-dimensional Insulators},

author = {Qi, Xiao-Liang and /Tsinghua U., Beijing /Stanford U., Phys. Dept. and Wu, Yong-Shi and /Utah U. and Zhang, Shou-Cheng and /Stanford U., Phys. Dept. /Tsinghua U., Beijing},

abstractNote = {We prove a general theorem on the relation between the bulk topological quantum number and the edge states in two dimensional insulators. It is shown that whenever there is a topological order in bulk, characterized by a non-vanishing Chern number, even if it is defined for a non-conserved quantity such as spin in the case of the spin Hall effect, one can always infer the existence of gapless edge states under certain twisted boundary conditions that allow tunneling between edges. This relation is robust against disorder and interactions, and it provides a unified topological classification of both the quantum (charge) Hall effect and the quantum spin Hall effect. In addition, it reconciles the apparent conflict between the stability of bulk topological order and the instability of gapless edge states in systems with open boundaries (as known happening in the spin Hall case). The consequences of time reversal invariance for bulk topological order and edge state dynamics are further studied in the present framework.},

doi = {},

url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/970439},
journal = {Submitted to Physical Review},

number = ,

volume = ,

place = {United States},

year = {2010},

month = {1}

}