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Bifurcation perspective on topologically protected and non-protected states in continuous systems

James Patrick Lee-Thorp

Title:
Bifurcation perspective on topologically protected and non-protected states in continuous systems
Author(s):
Lee-Thorp, James Patrick
Thesis Advisor(s):
Weinstein, Michael I.
Date:
Type:
Theses
Degree:
Ph.D., Columbia University
Department(s):
Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics
Persistent URL:
Abstract:
We study Schrödinger operators perturbed by non-compact (spatially extended) defects. We consider two models: a one-dimensional (1D) dimer structure with a global phase shift, and a two-dimensional (2D) honeycomb structure with a line-defect or "edge''. In both the 1D and 2D settings, the non-compact defects are modeled by adiabatic, domain wall modulations of the respective dimer and honeycomb structures. Our main results relate to the rigorous construction of states via bifurcations from continuous spectra. These bifurcations are controlled by asymptotic effective (homogenized) equations that underlie the protected or non-protected character of the states. In 1D, the states we construct are localized solutions. In 2D, they are "edge states'' - time-harmonic solutions which are propagating (plane-wave-like) parallel to a line-defect or "edge'' and are localized transverse to it. The states are described as protected if they persist in the presence of spatially localized (even strong) deformations of the global phase defect (in 1D) or edge (in 2D). The protected states bifurcate from "Dirac points'' (linear/conical spectral band-crossings) in the continuous spectra and are seeded by an effective Dirac equation. The (more conventional) non-protected states bifurcate from spectral band edges are seeded by an effective Schrödinger equation. Our 2D model captures many aspects of the phenomenon of topologically protected edge states observed in honeycomb structures such as graphene and "artificial graphene''. The protected states we construct in our 1D dimer model can be realized as highly robust TM- electromagnetic modes for a class of photonic waveguides with a phase-defect. We present a detailed computational study of an experimentally realizable photonic waveguide array structure.
Subject(s):
Bifurcation theory
Honeycomb structures
Schrödinger equation
Schrödinger operator
Mathematics
Physics
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Suggested Citation:
James Patrick Lee-Thorp, , Bifurcation perspective on topologically protected and non-protected states in continuous systems, Columbia University Academic Commons, .

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