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      Wavefront dislocations reveal the topology of quasi-1D photonic insulators

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          Abstract

          Phase singularities appear ubiquitously in wavefields, regardless of the wave equation. Such topological defects can lead to wavefront dislocations, as observed in a humongous number of classical wave experiments. Phase singularities of wave functions are also at the heart of the topological classification of the gapped phases of matter. Despite identical singular features, topological insulators and topological defects in waves remain two distinct fields. Realising 1D microwave insulators, we experimentally observe a wavefront dislocation – a 2D phase singularity – in the local density of states when the systems undergo a topological phase transition. We show theoretically that the change in the number of interference fringes at the transition reveals the topological index that characterises the band topology in the insulator.

          Abstract

          Topological properties are defined from singularities of the wave functions delocalised in the bulk of the material, but most experimental manifestations remain indirect. Here, the authors observe a wavefront dislocation as a direct evidence of the phase singularity of the delocalised wave functions in 1D microwave photonic insulators.

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          Most cited references 44

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                clement.dutreix@u-bordeaux.fr
                fabrice.mortessagne@univ-cotedazur.fr
                Journal
                Nat Commun
                Nat Commun
                Nature Communications
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2041-1723
                11 June 2021
                11 June 2021
                2021
                : 12
                Affiliations
                [1 ]GRID grid.462773.3, ISNI 0000 0004 0384 7995, Univ. Bordeaux, CNRS, LOMA, UMR 5798, ; F-33400 Talence, France
                [2 ]GRID grid.497397.7, ISNI 0000 0000 9497 6864, Université Côte d’Azur, CNRS, Institut de Physique de Nice, ; Nice, France
                [3 ]GRID grid.15140.31, ISNI 0000 0001 2175 9188, Univ Lyon, Ens de Lyon, Univ Claude Bernard, CNRS, Laboratoire de Physique, ; Lyon, France
                Article
                23790
                10.1038/s41467-021-23790-w
                8196168
                34117232
                © The Author(s) 2021

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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                topological defects, topological insulators

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