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Effective fractonic behavior in a two-dimensional exactly solvable spin liquid

Guilherme Delfino, Weslei Bernardino Fontana, Pedro R. S. Gomes, Claudio Chamon

SciPost Phys. 14, 002 (2023) · published 12 January 2023


In this work we propose a $\mathbb{Z}_N$ clock model which is exactly solvable on the lattice. We find exotic properties for the low-energy physics, such as UV/IR mixing and excitations with restricted mobility, that resemble fractonic physics from higher dimensional models. We then study the continuum descriptions for the lattice system in two distinct regimes and find two qualitative distinct field theories for each one of them. A characteristic time scale that grows exponentially fast with $N^2$ (and diverges rapidly as function of system parameters) separates these two regimes. For times below this scale, the system is described by an effective fractonic Chern-Simons-like action, where higher-form symmetries prevent quasiparticles from hopping. In this regime, the system behaves effectively as a fracton as isolated particles, in practice, never leave their original position. Beyond the large characteristic time scale, the excitations are mobile and the effective field theory is given by a pure mutual Chern-Simons action. In this regime, the UV/IR properties of the system is captured by a peculiar realization of the translation group.

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