Comments on foliated gauge theories and dualities in 3+1d

Po-Shen Hsin, Kevin Slagle

SciPost Phys. 11, 032 (2021) · published 17 August 2021


We investigate the properties of foliated gauge fields and construct several foliated field theories in 3+1d that describe foliated fracton orders both with and without matter, including the recent hybrid fracton models. These field theories describe Abelian or non-Abelian gauge theories coupled to foliated gauge fields, and they fall into two classes of models that we call the electric models and the magnetic models. We show that these two classes of foliated field theories enjoy a duality. We also construct a model (using foliated gauge fields and an exactly solvable lattice Hamiltonian model) for a subsystem-symmetry protected topological (SSPT) phase, which is analogous to a one-form symmetry protected topological phase, with the subsystem symmetry acting on codimension-two subregions. We construct the corresponding gauged SSPT phase as a foliated two-form gauge theory. Some instances of the gauged SSPT phase are a variant of the X-cube model with the same ground state degeneracy and the same fusion, but different particle statistics.

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