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Ergodic edge modes in the 4D quantum Hall effect

Benoit Estienne, Blagoje Oblak, Jean-Marie Stéphan

SciPost Phys. 11, 016 (2021) · published 20 July 2021


The gapless modes on the edge of four-dimensional (4D) quantum Hall droplets are known to be anisotropic: they only propagate in one direction, foliating the 3D boundary into independent 1D conduction channels. This foliation is extremely sensitive to the confining potential and generically yields chaotic flows. Here we study the quantum correlations and entanglement of such edge modes in 4D droplets confined by harmonic traps, whose boundary is a squashed three-sphere. Commensurable trapping frequencies lead to periodic trajectories of electronic guiding centers; the corresponding edge modes propagate independently along $S^1$ fibers, forming a bundle of 1D conformal field theories over a 2D base space. By contrast, incommensurable frequencies produce quasi-periodic, ergodic trajectories, each of which covers its invariant torus densely; the corresponding correlation function of edge modes has fractal features. This wealth of behaviors highlights the sharp differences between 4D Hall droplets and their 2D peers; it also exhibits the dependence of 4D edge modes on the choice of trap, suggesting the existence of observable bifurcations due to droplet deformations.

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