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Axial anomalies in Weyl semimetals

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I will discuss the physics of axial anomalies in Weyl semimetals. Quantum anomalies are the breaking of classical symmetries by quantum fluctuations. In the case of Weyl fermions, the relevant classical symmetry is the axial symmetry, which relates left and right handed Weyl fermions. In the presence of nonorthogonal electric and magnetic fields, left and right handed Weyl fermions are not separately conserved, the axial symmetry is broken. The physics of this was explained by Nielsen and Ninomiya in the eighties. The axial symmetry can also be broken in the presence of axial electromagnetic fields, fields that point in the opposite direction for differently handed Weyl fermions. An explanation of this phenomena in the spirit of Nielsen and Ninomiya can be given, but now requires the connection to Fermi arcs. I will explain this connection. Finally, I will briefly mention axial-torsional anomalies in Weyl semimetals.

This talk is part of the Theory of Condensed Matter series.

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