Experimental characterization of fragile topology in an acoustic metamaterial

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Science  14 Feb 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6479, pp. 797-800
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaz7654

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Understanding fragile topology

Exploiting topological features in materials is being pursued as a route to build in robustness of particular properties. Stemming from crystalline symmetries, such topological protection renders the properties robust against defects and provides a platform of rich physics to be studied. Recent developments have revealed the existence of so-called fragile topological phases, where the means of classification due to symmetry is unclear. Z.-D. Song et al. and Peri et al. present a combined theoretical and experimental approach to identify, classify, and measure the properties of fragile topological phases. By invoking twisted boundary conditions, they are able to describe the properties of fragile topological states and verify the expected experimental signature in an acoustic crystal. Understanding how fragile topology arises could be used to develop new materials with exotic properties.

Science, this issue p. 794, p. 797

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