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Majorana fermions and Dirac edge states in topological phases


In part 1, we study a realization of a chain of Majorana bound states at the interfaces between alternating ferromagnetic and superconducting regions at a quantum spin Hall insulator edge. In the limit of well separated Majoranas, the system can be mapped to the transverse field Ising model. The disordered critical point can be reached by tuning the relative magnitude or phases of the ferromagnetic and superconducting order parameters. We compute the voltage dependence of the tunneling current from a metallic tip into the Majorana chain as a direct probe of the random critical state. In part 2, we present an analytic prescription for computing the edge dispersion E(k) of a tight-binding Dirac Hamiltonian terminated at an abrupt crystalline edge. Specifically, we consider translationally invariant Dirac Hamiltonians with nearest-layer interaction.

We present and prove a geometric formula that relates the existence of surface states as well as their energy dispersion to properties of the bulk Hamiltonian. We further prove the bulk-boundary correspondence between the Chern number and the chiral edge modes for quantum Hall systems within the class of Hamiltonians studied in the paper.

Our results can be extended to the case of continuum theories which are quadratic in the momentum, as well as other symmetry classes.

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