Space-Time Crystal and Space-Time Group. Academic Article uri icon


  • 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.

published proceedings

  • Phys Rev Lett

altmetric score

  • 1.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Xu, S., & Wu, C.

citation count

  • 25

complete list of authors

  • Xu, Shenglong||Wu, Congjun

publication date

  • March 2018