Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What do topological insulators have to do with hall currents?

  1. Dec 10, 2011 #1

    So a topological insulator can induce a magnetic field when an electric charge is near to it (I can give a reference if necessary), but the thing is, the paper interprets the origin of this magnetic field as being the hall currents on the surface of the topological insulator.

    Now I don't see the connection between hall currents and topological insulators? Is it obvious that there should be a thing as a hall current on the surface? Or is it only understandable through teneous quantum mechanical calculations relying on spin-orbit coupling?

    Note that I know a little about what quantum hall effect and quantum spin hall effect have to do with topological insulators (the latter being a topological insulator), but in each of these cases, it didn't come across to me that the hall current was playing a role in the story. So maybe I'm overlooking something at that basic level. The easiest "solution" would be "the edge current on the boundar of a quantum hall effect state and e.g. vacuum is a hall current", but I don't think that is true.
  2. jcsd
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Can you offer guidance or do you also need help?
Draft saved Draft deleted