Article open access publication

A holographic quantum Hall ferromagnet

Journal of High Energy Physics, Springer Nature, ISSN 1126-6708

Volume 2014, 2, 2014

DOI:10.1007/jhep02(2014)097, Dimensions: pub.1021738021,


Pourhasan, R. (2) (3)
Semenoff, G. W. (4) (5)

* Corresponding author



  1. (1) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU
  2. (2) Perimeter Institute, grid.420198.6
  3. (3) University of Waterloo, grid.46078.3d
  4. (4) Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, grid.411233.6
  5. (5) University of British Columbia, grid.17091.3e


A detailed numerical study of a recent proposal for exotic states of the D3-probe D5 brane system with charge density and an external magnetic field is presented. The state has a large number of coincident D5 branes blowing up to a D7 brane in the presence of the worldvolume electric and magnetic fields which are necessary to construct the holographic state. Numerical solutions have shown that these states can compete with the the previously known chiral symmetry breaking and maximally symmetric phases of the D3-D5 system. Moreover, at integer filling fractions, they are incompressible with integer quantized Hall conductivities. In the dual superconformal defect field theory, these solutions correspond to states which break the chiral and global flavor symmetries spontaneously. The region of the temperature-density plane where the D7 brane has lower energy than the other known D5 brane solutions is identified. A hypothesis for the structure of states with filling fraction and Hall conductivity greater than one is made and tested by numerical computation. A parallel with the quantum Hall ferromagnetism or magnetic catalysis phenomenon which is observed in graphene is drawn. As well as demonstrating that the phenomenon can exist in a strongly coupled system, this work makes a number of predictions of symmetry breaking patterns and phase transitions for such systems.

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