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Phys Rev Lett. 2018 Mar 2;120(9):096401. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.096401.

Space-Time Crystal and Space-Time Group.

Xu S1,2, Wu C1.

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Department of Physics, University of California, San Diego, California 92093, USA.
Condensed Matter Theory Center and Department of Physics, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA.


Crystal structures and the Bloch theorem play a fundamental role in condensed matter physics. We extend the static crystal to the dynamic "space-time" crystal characterized by the general intertwined space-time periodicities in D+1 dimensions, which include both the static crystal and the Floquet crystal as special cases. A new group structure dubbed a "space-time" group is constructed to describe the discrete symmetries of a space-time crystal. Compared to space and magnetic groups, the space-time group is augmented by "time-screw" rotations and "time-glide" reflections involving fractional translations along the time direction. A complete classification of the 13 space-time groups in one-plus-one dimensions (1+1D) is performed. The Kramers-type degeneracy can arise from the glide time-reversal symmetry without the half-integer spinor structure, which constrains the winding number patterns of spectral dispersions. In 2+1D, nonsymmorphic space-time symmetries enforce spectral degeneracies, leading to protected Floquet semimetal states. We provide a general framework for further studying topological properties of the (D+1)-dimensional space-time crystal.

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