Exotic $U(1)$ symmetries, duality, and fractons in 3+1-dimensional quantum field theory

Nathan Seiberg, Shu-Heng Shao

SciPost Phys. 9, 046 (2020) · published 5 October 2020


We extend our exploration of nonstandard continuum quantum field theories in 2+1 dimensions to 3+1 dimensions. These theories exhibit exotic global symmetries, a peculiar spectrum of charged states, unusual gauge symmetries, and surprising dualities. Many of the systems we study have a known lattice construction. In particular, one of them is a known gapless fracton model. The novelty here is in their continuum field theory description. In this paper, we focus on models with a global $U(1)$ symmetry and in a followup paper we will study models with a global $\mathbb{Z}_N$ symmetry.

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