Phase diagram and conformal string excitations of square ice using gauge invariant matrix product states

Ferdinand Tschirsich, Simone Montangero, Marcello Dalmonte

SciPost Phys. 6, 028 (2019) · published 6 March 2019


We investigate the ground state phase diagram of square ice -- a U(1) lattice gauge theory in two spatial dimensions -- using gauge invariant tensor network techniques. By correlation function, Wilson loop, and entanglement diagnostics, we characterize its phases and the transitions between them, finding good agreement with previous studies. We study the entanglement properties of string excitations on top of the ground state, and provide direct evidence of the fact that the latter are described by a conformal field theory. Our results pave the way to the application of tensor network methods to confining, two-dimensional lattice gauge theories, to investigate their phase diagrams and low-lying excitations.

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Conformal field theory (CFT) Entanglement Gauge theory Phase transitions Wilson loops

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