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Continuous Néel-VBS quantum phase transition in non-local one-dimensional systems with SO(3) symmetry

Chao-Ming Jian, Yichen Xu, Xiao-Chuan Wu, Cenke Xu

SciPost Phys. 10, 033 (2021) · published 12 February 2021


One dimensional $(1d)$ interacting systems with local Hamiltonians can be studied with various well-developed analytical methods. Recently novel $1d$ physics was found numerically in systems with either spatially nonlocal interactions, or at the $1d$ boundary of $2d$ quantum critical points, and the critical fluctuation in the bulk also yields effective nonlocal interactions at the boundary. This work studies the edge states at the $1d$ boundary of $2d$ strongly interacting symmetry protected topological (SPT) states, when the bulk is driven to a disorder-order phase transition. We will take the $2d$ Affleck-Kennedy-Lieb-Tasaki (AKLT) state as an example, which is a SPT state protected by the $SO(3)$ spin symmetry and spatial translation. We found that the original $(1+1)d$ boundary conformal field theory of the AKLT state is unstable due to coupling to the boundary avatar of the bulk quantum critical fluctuations. When the bulk is fixed at the quantum critical point, within the accuracy of our expansion method, we find that by tuning one parameter at the boundary, there is a generic direct transition between the long range antiferromagnetic N\'{e}el order and the valence bond solid (VBS) order. This transition is very similar to the Néel-VBS transition recently found in numerical simulation of a spin-1/2 chain with nonlocal spatial interactions. Connections between our analytical studies and recent numerical results concerning the edge states of the $2d$ AKLT-like state at a bulk quantum phase transition will also be discussed.

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