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Avoided quantum criticality in exact numerical simulations of a single disordered Weyl cone

TitleAvoided quantum criticality in exact numerical simulations of a single disordered Weyl cone
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsJ. H. Wilson, D. A. Huse, D. S. Sarma, and J.. H. Pixley
JournalPhys. Rev. B
Volume102
Pagination100201
Date PublishedSEP 8
Type of ArticleArticle
ISSN2469-9950
Abstract

Existing theoretical works differ on whether three-dimensional Dirac and Weyl semimetals are stable to a short-range-correlated random potential. Numerical evidence suggests the semimetal to be unstable, while some field-theoretic instanton calculations have found it to be stable. The differences go beyond method: the continuum field-theoretic works use a single, perfectly linear Weyl cone, while numerical works use tight-binding lattice models which inherently have band curvature and multiple Weyl cones. In this work, we bridge this gap by performing exact numerics on the same model used in analytic treatments, and we find that all phenomena associated with rare regions near the Weyl node energy found in lattice models persist in the continuum theory: The density of states is nonzero and exhibits an avoided transition. In addition to characterizing this transition, we find rare states and show that they have the expected behavior. The simulations utilize sparse matrix techniques with formally dense matrices; doing so allows us to reach Hilbert space sizes upwards of 107 states, substantially larger than anything achieved before.

DOI10.1103/PhysRevB.102.100201