A recipe for constructing frustration-free Hamiltonians with gauge and matter fields in one and two dimensions

Miguel Jorge Bernabé Ferreira, Juan Pablo Ibieta Jimenez, Pramod Padmanabhan*, Paulo Teôtonio Sobrinho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


State sum constructions, such as Kuperbergs algorithm, give partition functions of physical systems, like lattice gauge theories, in various dimensions by associating local tensors or weights with different parts of a closed triangulated manifold. Here we extend this construction by including matter fields to build partition functions in both two and three space-time dimensions. The matter fields introduce new weights to the vertices and they correspond to Potts spin configurations described by an A-module with an inner product. Performing this construction on a triangulated manifold with a boundary we obtain transfer matrices which are decomposed into a product of local operators acting on vertices, links and plaquettes. The vertex and plaquette operators are similar to the ones appearing in the quantum double models (QDMs) of Kitaev. The link operator couples the gauge and the matter fields, and it reduces to the usual interaction terms in known models such as Z2 gauge theory with matter fields. The transfer matrices lead to Hamiltonians that are frustration-free and are exactly solvable. According to the choice of the initial input, that of the gauge group and a matter module, we obtain interesting models which have a new kind of ground state degeneracy that depends on the number of equivalence classes in the matter module under gauge action. Some of the models have confined flux excitations in the bulk which become deconfined at the surface. These edge modes are protected by an energy gap provided by the link operator. These properties also appear in confined Walker-Wang models which are 3D models having interesting surface states. Apart from the gauge excitations there are also excitations in the matter sector which are immobile and can be thought of as defects like in the Ising model. We only consider bosonic matter fields in this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Article number485206
Pages (from-to)1-48
Number of pages48
JournalJournal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
Issue number48
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • gauge theory
  • lattice models
  • matter fields
  • topological order

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A recipe for constructing frustration-free Hamiltonians with gauge and matter fields in one and two dimensions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this