Volume 86, Number 1, April 2009
Article Number 10003
Number of page(s) 5
Section General
Published online 16 April 2009
EPL, 86 (2009) 10003
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/86/10003

Topological glass states

Tai-Kai Ng1, Yi Zhou2 and Lei-Han Tang3

1   Department of Physics, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology - Clear Water Bay Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong
2   Department of Physics, University of Hong Kong - Pok Fu Lam Road, Hong Kong
3   Department of Physics, Hong Kong Baptist University - Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong

received 13 January 2009; accepted in final form 9 March 2009; published April 2009
published online 16 April 2009

In connection with the recent discussion of topological order and topological phase transitions in quantum systems, we reexamine the circumstances that lead to the appearance of a topological glass in certain classical lattice spin models. Local bonding enforces constraints on low-energy states that organize themselves into topologically distinct classes that break ergodicity but not any apparent symmetry as in the usual Landau theory of phase transitions. Various properties of such a topological glass are demonstrated using two classical Ising-like models.

03.65.Vf - Quantum mechanics: Phases: geometric; dynamic or topological.
05.20.-y - Classical statistical mechanics.
61.43.Fs - Glasses.

© EPLA 2009