The quest for non-Abelian quasiparticles has inspired decades of experimental and theoretical efforts. Among their clearest signatures is a thermal Hall conductance with quantized half-integer value. Such a value was indeed recently observed in a quantum-Hall system at ν=5/2 and in the magnetic insulator α-RuCl3. I will explain that a non-topological "thermal metal" phase that forms due to quenched disorder may disguise as a non-Abelian phase by well approximating the trademark quantized thermal Hall response. Remarkably, the quantization here improves with temperature, in contrast to fully gapped systems. In my talk, I will provide analytical and numerical evidence for this effect and discuss its possible implications for the aforementioned experiments.


Talk Number PIRSA:20080020
Speaker Profile David Mross
Collection Condensed Matter