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Ideal fracton superfluids

Jay Armas, Emil Have

SciPost Phys. 16, 039 (2024) · published 30 January 2024


We investigate the thermodynamics of equilibrium thermal states and their near-equilibrium dynamics in systems with fractonic symmetries in arbitrary curved space. By explicitly gauging the fracton algebra we obtain the geometry and gauge fields that field theories with conserved dipole moment couple to. We use the resultant fracton geometry to show that it is not possible to construct an equilibrium partition function for global thermal states unless part of the fractonic symmetries is spontaneously broken. This leads us to introduce two classes of fracton superfluids with conserved energy and momentum, namely $p$-wave and $s$-wave fracton superfluids. The latter phase is an Aristotelian superfluid at ideal order but with a velocity constraint and can be split into two separate regimes: The U(1) fracton superfluid and the pinned $s$-wave superfluid regimes. For each of these classes and regimes we formulate a hydrodynamic expansion and study the resultant modes. We find distinctive features of each of these phases and regimes at ideal order in gradients, without introducing dissipative effects. In particular we note the appearance of a sound mode for $s$-wave fracton superfluids. We show that previous work on fracton hydrodynamics falls into these classes. Finally, we study ultra-dense $p$-wave fracton superfluids with a large kinetic mass in addition to studying the thermodynamics of ideal Aristotelian superfluids.

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