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Field theories with a vector global symmetry

Nathan Seiberg

SciPost Phys. 8, 050 (2020) · published 3 April 2020


Motivated by recent discussions of fractons, we explore nonrelativistic field theories with a continuous global symmetry, whose charge is a spatial vector. We present several such symmetries and demonstrate them in concrete examples. They differ by the equations their Noether currents satisfy. Simple cases, other than the translation symmetry, are an ordinary (relativistic) one-form global symmetry and its nonrelativistic generalization. In the latter case the conserved charge is associated with a codimension-one spatial manifold, but it is not topological. More general examples involve charges that are integrated over the entire space. We also discuss the coupling of these systems to gauge fields for these symmetries. We relate our examples to known continuum and lattice constructions.

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