Symmetry-Protected Topological Edge Modes and Emergent Partial Time-Reversal Symmetry Breaking in Open Quantum Many-Body Systems


Symmetry-protected topological edge modes are one of the most remarkable phenomena in topological physics. Here, we formulate and quantitatively examine the effect of a quantum bath on these topological edge modes. Using the density matrix renormalization group method, we show that the time-reversal symmetry (TRS) plays a special role for an open quantum system, where an emergent partial TRS breaking will result in a TRS-protected topological mode diffusing from the system edge into the bath, thus make it useless for quantum computation.

Phys. Rev. Lett.